Two people were arrested last week for allegedly stealing the vehicle of a woman who was reported missing last year in Twentynine Palms. Authorities said the theft caused issues in the search.
Erika Lloyd, 38, was reported missing on June 14, 2020. The Walnut Creek native took a road trip from the Bay Area to Joshua Tree National Park to camp.
On June 16, 2020, police found Lloyd's vehicle abandoned and vandalized near Highway 62 and Sheldon Road near Twentynine Palms.
News Channel 3 spoke with the owner of the towing company that was in possession of Lloyd's vehicle in August. The car has smashed windows, shattered radio, and the airbag was deployed.
The location where Lloyd's vehicle was found along with the damaged condition it found in lead to many rumors regarding what could've happened to her, despite investigators stating they did not believe there was foul played involved.
Lloyd's remains were found on January 31, 2021 near Danby Road and Amboy Road in Wonder Valley. The cause and manner of her death were never revealed, however, detectives confirmed there was no foul play
The location is not far from Joshua Tree National Park and a few miles away from where her vehicle was found.
Although her remains where located, deputies continued an investigation related to her vehicle.
Officials said in December 2020, detectives were able to determine that Lloyd's vehicle was taken from the original location where she went missing. This threw off the search and rescue operations in locating Lloyd. The detectives worked to obtain warrants and identify the suspects.
On June 6, 2021, nearly a year to the day when Lloyd's family last heard from her, detectives identified who stole her vehicle. On June 8, the two suspects were arrested at their residence in Twentynine Palms.
One suspect identified as a 34-year-old woman faces charges of grand theft auto and possession of stolen property. Her bail was originally set at $1,000,000, however, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's detective confirmed on Tuesday that she has since been released.
The second suspect was identified as a 28-year-old man who faces charges of vehicle theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was also originally held on $75,000 before being released.
The detective said they were not sure of the circumstances behind their release but confirmed the case will continue to move forward.
Charges have not been officially filed at this time.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.