Sheryl Powell, an experienced camper, disappeared with her dog from their campsite on Friday while her husband was moving their car. The 60-year-old hasn’t been seen since Friday around 1 p.m. near the Grandview Campground in the Huntington Beach region. Here is what we know so far about Powell.
UPDATE: Sheryl Powell was found alive on Monday by a ground search team near Montenegro Springs. Her dog was found earlier about 2.5 miles from where Powell was last seen, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office said that Sheryl was “resilient and strong but exhausted after being lost in an extremely remote area above Big Pine, CA.”
Sheryl’s family told ABC 7 that when she went to use the restroom while her husband moved the Jeep, she was chased by a man with a knife. She said the man was hiding and chased her down the hill while holding a knife. She got lost when she ran from him. She ate a cactus and found water while traveling at night to avoid dehydration.
The original story is below.
1. Sheryl Powell Disappeared with Her Dog While Her Husband Was Gone for Five Minutes Moving Their Car
Sheryl Powell and her husband, Joseph Powell, were near Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the Huntington Beach area, east of Bishop in the White Mountains, when she went missing, KTLA5 reported. They were at a secluded site only about a mile west, up a dirt road, from the Grandview Campground, her daughter Farrah Powell told KTLA5. Farrah wrote on GoFundMe that her mom’s coordinates when she went missing were 37.330353, -118.199837. Here’s a map based on those coordinates:
Family friend Saisha Patel shared the photo above showing Sheryl Powell, her husband, and the dog that was with her when she went missing.
Her is another photo of Sheryl’s dog, shared by Farrah.
Grandview Campground has limited cell coverage and is in the low hills at about 8,600 feet, KTLA5 reported.
Joseph was only gone for about five minutes when he came back and found that she was gone. He searched for his wife for about an hour and then sent out an SOS from a satellite device the couple brought with them. There’s limited cell coverage in the area, which is why he needed to use the satellite device. The California Highway Patrol brought a helicopter that used thermal imaging technology to search the area, with no results.
2. Sheryl Was an Experienced Hiker But Now There’s No Sign of Her ‘Except the Footprints She Left at the Campground’
The whole incident is especially unusual because Sheryl is an experienced hiker and has a good sense of direction, her daughter Farrah Powell said on Facebook. Greg Powell, Sheryl’s son, told Your Central Valley that his parents take camping trips at least once or twice a month. “She’s very strong,” he said. “She’s know what to do. There hasn’t been a trace.”
Sheryl didn’t have any food or water with her when she went missing because she was just waiting on Joseph to come back. Her daughter wrote that there is no trace of her mom “except for the footprints she left at the campground.”
You can see a photo of Sheryl Powell without sunglasses above, provided by family friend Saisha Patel on Facebook.
Sheryl’s husband had left to move their Jeep up the hill and Sheryl had taken their dog for a quick walk so it could relieve itself, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office reported. (Sheryl’s daughter Farrah said on Facebook that her mom had simply gotten out of the car with their dog to wait in the shade while he backed the car back up the hill.) Her dog is a Yorkie Poo that has a red leash and only weighs about five pounds. He’s black and grey and named Miley, her daughter shared on GoFundMe.
3. Sheryl’s Daughter Said She’s Worried Her Mother Was Abducted
Sheryl’s daughter Farrah is concerned that her mom may have been abducted, she wrote on GoFundMe. The police told her that they think maybe she got lost or the dog got away and she went running after it. But Sheryl said her mom wasn’t intending to hike; she was just waiting on her dad and didn’t have any food or water with her. They were just setting up camp. She also said it’s unlikely that the dog ran away since she has a bad leg and can’t run.
Farrah wrote on GoFundMe: “So far the criminal side of the investigation has focused on my dad and on my mom’s friends as suspects, both of which ideas are absurd. My parents have an extremely loving relationship and my dad (who has refused to leave the campsite) is on the verge of breakdown.”
4. The Sheriff’s Department Said Late Sunday Night that There’s No Indication Sheryl’s Husband Was Involved & the Family Has Been Very Cooperative
Inyo County Sheriff’s Department wrote late Sunday night: “This is a simultaneous SAR/investigation and there is NO indication that Mr. Powell had anything to do with her disappearance. The family has been extremely cooperative.”
Farrah wrote on Facebook: “I am her daughter and my mom and dad are extremely happily married. Anyone that knows them will tell you the same thing… their marriage is filled with love support understanding and sacrifice. So rather than talking about it potentially being my dad, let’s please try to use our resources and energy on doing everything we can to find her. My mom is the strongest and most incredible woman I know and I appreciate EVERYONE’S support and time.”
Family friend Saisha Patel wrote on Facebook: “Sheryl’s daughter has been a very close friend of mine for 15 plus years. I know this family very well and more specifically I know her parents’ relationship very well. If any set of parents were idols, mentors and what I strive to be in a marriage it is them. Their care for each other was beyond obvious.”
5. Sheryl’s Family Has Started a GoFundMe To Help Fund the Search, Including a Private Investigator
They need more trained, credentialed search and rescue personnel to help, Farrah said on GoFundMe. The team would ideally like to have 50 to 60 people helping, and only had 17 on Saturday. The funding will also help pay for the helicopter search, in case the search is scaled down. Gregory Powell, Sheryl’s son, wrote on Facebook on July 13: “There have been two main issues with the search so far. The first is the number of volunteers. They don’t want non-credentialed search and rescue people showing up but they are only contacting a small pool of people with mediocre results. Yesterday there were 8, today 17. Meanwhile they admit they would like 50-60. They didn’t start searching until almost 10am and were done by 230pm.”
The family is also going to hire a private investigator to help research the abduction theory.
Sheryl is 5’3″ and weighs 120 pounds, KTLA 5 reported. She has light brown hair that’s shoulder length and brown eyes. She was wearing a purple top when she was last seen. If you have any information, please call 760-878-0383, Option 4.