Human remains discovered in a US desert have been identified as those of a mother of one who disappeared eight months ago after embarking on a road trip during the coronavirus pandemic.
Erika Lloyd, 37, left her home in Walnut Creek near the Californian city of Oakland on June 14 and was last heard from two days later.
She was heading south to the Joshua Tree National Park to camp, but her vehicle was found with smashed windows on June 16 in Twentynine Palms, near her intended destination.
Police said at the time there was no signs of foul play following an assessment of her vehicle, however there was no trace of Ms Lloyd.
After months of searching for any leads and harbouring hope she was still alive, her brother revealed her remains had been discovered by hikers on January 31, several kilometres from where her vehicle had been found.
He paid tribute to his sister on Facebook in the wake of the discovery.
"Right now is the time for grieving and I encourage everyone to pause and reflect on the beautiful soul we’ve lost: our Erika," he said.
Ms Lloyd was identified by her dental records.
Mystery continues to surround her death, with a cause of death yet to be determined, The San Bernardino Sun reported.
Police continue to actively investigate her death and are calling for anyone with information regarding Ms Lloyd to come forward.
Her mother, Ruth, previously told KESQ she "seemed like she was fine", but noted three months of lockdown was starting to take its toll financially for her.
Ms Lloyd's family speculated she may have been involved in a car accident prior to abandoning her vehicle and had suffered memory loss from the collision.
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