Mom who disappeared after setting out on a ‘pandemic road trip’ is found dead

California mom, 37, who disappeared after setting out on a ‘pandemic road trip’ is found dead in the desert – eight months after her car was discovered with its windows smashed out by the side of a highway

  • Erika Lloyd, 37, set off on a seven-hour road trip to Joshua Tree National Park on June 14 of last year
  • Her Honda Accord was found damaged and abandoned at the park’s edge two days later
  • A large-scale search for the mom-of-one ensued, with Lloyd’s family holding out hope that she was still alive
  • However, their hopes were dashed on January 31 when hikers discovered human remains in a trail in the nearby area of Wonder Valley
  • Dental records have now confirmed the remains belong to Loyd; her cause of death is still under investigation

A California mom who vanished after she set out on a ‘pandemic road trip’ has been confirmed dead.

Erika Lloyd, 37, was last seen setting off from her home in Walnut Creek on June 14 last year, intending to drive seven hours to Joshua Tree National Park.

The mother-of-one’s disappearance sparked a large-scale search which came to end on January 31, when hikers discovered human remains on a desert trail in Wonder Valley –  about 15 miles northeast of Joshua Tree.

Dental records confirmed that the remains were those of Lloyd, with her family making the sad announcement in a Facebook post Wednesday.

‘It is with a heavy heart we announce that the remains have been identified by San Bernardino County’s Sheriff Department as Erika,’ Lloyd’s brother, Colin, wrote.

‘Close to 8 months have passed since Erika disappeared and we have been blessed by countless efforts of selflessness and compassion on part of the community and our family.’

It is unclear whether Lloyd met with foul play or simply lost her bearings after setting off on a hike in Wonder Valley.

Her black Honda Accord was found damaged and abandoned at the edge of the Joshua Tree National Park, near the town of Twentynine Palms, on June 16.

The front and back windows of the vehicle had been smashed out.

The remains of Erika Lloyd, 37, has been discovered in Wonder Valley, California – eight months after she was last seen setting out on a ‘pandemic road trip’

On Saturday, Colin Lloyd shared photos of a 'memorial garden' created near the place where Erika's remains were discovered

On Saturday, Colin Lloyd shared photos of a ‘memorial garden’ created near the place where Erika’s remains were discovered

On Saturday, Colin Lloyd shared photos of a ‘memorial garden’ created near the place where Erika’s remains were discovered.

The memorial featured two crosses made from wood, and stones set out in the shape of a love heart.

‘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. Let us hold her spirit dearly, and allow it to work through us to serve others (what she would want us to do),’ Colin wrote.

Lloyd’s parents – Wayne and Ruth – told KESQ that their daughter decided to take the road trip as she wanted a change of scenery amid the coronavirus lockdown.

‘Being locked down for almost three months, not being able to work and trying to home school her son – it was starting to get to her,’ Ruth stated.

Lloyd's black Honda Accord was found damaged and abandoned at the edge of the park near the town of Twentynine Palms (pictured)

Lloyd’s black Honda Accord was found damaged and abandoned at the edge of the park near the town of Twentynine Palms (pictured)

Last June, Erika decided to take the road trip as she wanted a change of scenery amid the coronavirus lockdown

Last June, Erika decided to take the road trip as she wanted a change of scenery amid the coronavirus lockdown

Lloyd's parents - Wayne and Ruth - were holding out hope that their daughter was still alive

Lloyd’s parents – Wayne and Ruth – were holding out hope that their daughter was still alive

She added that her daughter may have also felt ‘pressure’ as she had no form of income.

Last August, Ruth told the news network that she was looking after Lloyd’s 12-year-old son.

At the time, he was constantly asking as to his mother’s whereabouts.

‘He says  ‘Are you calling about my mom? Are you talking to people? … So he misses her,’ Ruth stated.

Lloyd’s cause of death is still being investigated.

Lloyd's 12-year-old son was constantly asking his grandparents as to his mother's whereabouts

Lloyd’s 12-year-old son was constantly asking his grandparents as to his mother’s whereabouts

It is unclear whether Lloyd met with foul play or simply lost her bearings after setting off on a hike in Wonder Valley

It is unclear whether Lloyd met with foul play or simply lost her bearings after setting off on a hike in Wonder Valley

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