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Memorial garden dedicated to Erika Lloyd 8 months after disappearance

The family of Erika Lloyd had set-up a cross near the area where her remains were found in the High Desert. Doug Billings, a cave expert, who's been searching for answers in the disappearance of Lloyd, created a garden in her honor.

“I am sorry we couldn’t find you in time," said Billings.

Billings had hoped for a different outcome, who dedicated hundreds of man hours in search for Erika Lloyd. 

“Thats the truth, I wish I could have done more," said Billings

Lloyd's family lost contact with her on June 16. She left her home in the Walnut Creek area on June 14 for a road trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Her remains were found in a desert field near the 52000 block of Danby Road in Wonder Valley on the morning of Jan. 31, 2021. 

The sheriff's department confirmed the discovery to be Lloyd’s. 

“It is not impossible for her to have walked from her car to this location absolutely not impossible," said Billings. "Its actually just about the point 2 and half miles or so across the desert." "Maybe she was zig zagging 3 miles thats the point when you’re going to start feeling heat exhaustion.” 

Courtesy: Doug Billings

Billings and his explorer friends, who also helped out in the search, built a memorial garden in the shape of heart around the cross put up by Lloyd’s brother.

“I found these rocks. It turns out that Erika’s favorite color is this earthy orange color, we just happen to find a patch of orange rocks," said Billings. "I talked to one

But for Billings, he felt another connection with Erika. He used her rake for this garden. 

"You feel a part of her now," said Billings. "A connection with her."

This garden was a small way to show her family and friends facing tragedy and uncertainty that a community is behind them.

“I hope it’ll help other people heal and understand," said Billings "Healing is most important for the family is to heal and if this could help them heal thats the best thing we can do."

The area is just a few miles away from Highway 62 and Sheldon Road, which is where her car was found abandoned and vandalized.

On Thursday, Lloyd's brother announced on social media that her remains were discovered by hikers.

The Sheriff's Department confirmed on Friday that investigators had located and retrieved partial skeletal remains. A Forensic Odontologist was able to positively identify Lloyd based on her dental records.

"Right now is the time for grieving and I encourage everyone to pause and reflect on the beautiful soul we’ve lost: our Erika," wrote Lloyd's brother.

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Dani Romero


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