California

Road trip leads couple to Southern California desert. He died. She's still missing

Susan and William Schmeirer, of Williamsburg, Virginia, were on a cross-country road trip. Their car was found abandoned in Amboy, California, and William's body was found shortly after.
Susan and William Schmeirer, of Williamsburg, Virginia, were on a cross-country road trip. Their car was found abandoned in Amboy, California, and William's body was found shortly after.

Susan and William Schmeirer, a couple from Williamsburg, Virginia, were on a cross-country road trip when they stopped in the tiny Southern California desert community of Amboy in early June, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office.

Their car was found apparently abandoned 10 days later, the sheriff’s department said. William’s body was found not long after.

Susan has not yet been found.

The Schmeirers had stopped in Amboy on their way to Palm Springs, according to The Desert Sun. Palm Springs is about 98 miles south of Amboy. The couple were last seen alive on June 2 at the Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark, the sheriff’s department said.

On June 13, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials reported the Schmeirers' car had been parked in the Amboy Crater Trailhead parking lot for about 10 days and appeared abandoned, according to the sheriff’s department.

Authorities immediately conducted a search of the area from above, but couldn’t find the victims. However, on June 16, when officials conducted an extensive search that included a helicopter, search and rescue volunteers and a trained search dog, they found the remains of a man matching William Schmeirer’s description, according to a news release.

Official confirmation of the body's identity is pending from the coroner, the sheriff's department said. Authorities have not yet determined a cause of death.

Authorities said they conducted another search for Susan Schmeirer last weekend, but could not find her.

"By 10:30 a.m., ground temperatures hit 130 degrees and by 2:00 p.m., the ground temperatures reached 165 degrees with an air temperature of 117 degrees," the sheriff’s department said.

Because it was so hot, officials had to stop using the search dogs. The weather, as well as the rough terrain, disabled two of the sheriff’s off-road search and rescue vehicles.

The sheriff's department added that they don't suspect foul play.

Bob Hershberger, a friend of the couple, told WTKR that the Schmeirers had traveled to Asia, Europe and Antarctica in the last few years.

"It just devastated me. My heart almost stopped. Totally unexpected," Hershberger told the station.

The Schmeirers also worked and volunteered for the College of William & Mary, WTKR reported.

Officers with the Idaho Humane Society found Apollo 15 days after he went missing after surviving a rollover accident on I-84. Watch as he's reunited with his family.

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