AMBOY — The almost year-long search for Susan Schmierer, 65, of Williamsburg, Virginia, ended Sunday when Sheriff’s Department searchers found her remains in the desert east of Amboy Crater.
The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm what caused her death, but it appears to be consistent with accidental heat exposure, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Schmierer and her husband, William Schmierer, 64, were reported missing on June 13, 2018, when Bureau of Land Management rangers found their vehicle abandoned at the Amboy Crater parking lot.
The couple were on a trip to Palm Springs to see their daughter when they took a detour to the Amboy Crater.
A team led by Sgt. D. Garvin and Deputy N. Campos found William Schmierer’s remains on June 16.
An autopsy confirmed he died of heat exposure.
Searchers continued to look for Susan Schmierer, using helicopters, K9 teams, volunteer dog teams, coroner investigators and BLM rangers. Her family coordinated their own searches and contracted with private drone companies.
In the summer, the heat hampered the searches; by 10 a.m. most days, ground temperatures in the lava fields exceeded 160 degrees.