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Friday, May 24, 2024

Remains of missing Williamsburg woman found near Amboy Crater National Landmark, California

Susan Schmierer, 65, and her husband, William, 64, went missing near Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark in Southern California. (WYDaily/Courtesy San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)
Susan Schmierer, 65, and her husband, William, 64, went missing near Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark in Southern California. (WYDaily/Courtesy San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

The remains of a Williamsburg woman missing since June 2018 has been found at Amboy Crater National Landmark in San Bernardino County, California.

Search and rescue members found the remains of Susan Schmierer, 65, on Sunday in the desert wilderness east of the landmark, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department wrote in a news release Friday.

An official cause of death is pending autopsy, the sheriff’s department wrote, but it “appears to be consistent with heat exposure.”

Susan Schmierer and her husband William, 64, were reported missing June 13, 2018 after stopping at Amboy Crater National Landmark while on a road trip to Palm Springs.

The couple had left Williamsburg on May 27, and stopped at the landmark June 2. They were last seen at the Amboy Crater visitor center.

The Schmierers’ car was found June 13 at a trailhead near the crater. Three days later, authorities discovered the body of William Schmierer about a quarter of a mile away from the trailhead.

An autopsy determined William Schmierer died of heat exposure, authorities said.

The area is known for its rugged terrain and extreme heat.

RELATED STORY: Crews return to California desert in search for missing Williamsburg woman

After William Schmierer was found, more than a dozen search and rescue volunteers spent “thousands of hours” searching for his wife. The family also hired private searchers to scan the area.

The search used helicopters, K9 teams, deputies, detectives, coroner investigators and Bureau of Land Management rangers to search about 36 square miles of the desert area, the sheriff’s department wrote.

The search was hampered multiple times by high daytime temperatures and hard terrain. Ground temperatures in the lava fields exceeded 160 degrees, according to the news release.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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