Remains of Walnut Creek woman missing since June found
Authorities have identified human remains discovered last month as those of a Northern California woman who went missing in June, reportedly while on her way to Joshua Tree National Park.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said Friday that skeletal remains found Jan. 31 in Wonder Valley belonged to 37-year-old Erika Lloyd, of Walnut Creek.
Officials said a forensic odontologist identified the remains using Lloyd's dental records. The cause and manner of death remain unknown.
Lloyd's brother, Colin Lloyd, said on social media that hikers found the remains close to eight months after his sister was last seen June 14, 2020, in Walnut Creek.
Lloyd's post appeared on the "Bring Erika Home" Facebook page.
"There is no easy way for me to tell you all this and there's no easy way for any of us to receive it," the post read. "My wish is that we can all lean in a little closer, hold each other up, and remind each other more often that we're here for one another with open arms and endless love; it's what she would have wanted; it's the spirit of who she was."
Erika Lloyd's car was found abandoned two days later on June 16, 2020, near State Route 62 and Shelton Road, situated east of Twentynine Palms and north of Joshua Tree National Park.
Sheriff's officials previously said Lloyd was "believed to be traveling" to the park to camp at the time of her disappearance, the Daily Press reported.
The sheriff's department said Friday that her body was found one-quarter mile east of the 5200 block of Danby Road, about three miles north of the area where her car was found.
Sheriff's officials said in July 2020 that they found no signs of foul play after searching the vehicle, Palm Springs-based station KESQ-TV reported.
Authorities searched for Lloyd on the ground and in the air immediately after her disappearance. In the Facebook post, Colin Lloyd thanked the sheriff's department and all who helped in the search for his sister.
"You have all been nothing short of a miracle for us," he said.
Lloyd added that now was "the time for grieving" and to "reflect on the beautiful soul we've lost: our Erika."
"Remember her, cherish her memory, celebrate moments past, and laugh; she would always make you laugh," he said. "Erika adored everyone; she left a bright smile on everyone's heart; she would remind you of who you truly were and how important and loved you were; she warmed your soul."
Daily Press Managing Editor Matthew Cabe can be reached at MCabe@VVDailyPress.com or 760-490-0052. Follow him on Twitter @DP_MatthewCabe.