A woman left behind a "disheveled" campsite and a smashed-up car after being on a solo camping trip near Chiquito Lake in the Sierra National Forest two weeks ago. Mysteriously, she was spotted wandering barefoot with a bruise on her face by a witness who says she declined an offer of help or medical attention. Authorities from multiple California counties are now trying to track her down.
Sandra Johnsen Hughes, 54, now has not been heard from since June 26, and as of the July 4 holiday weekend, her campsite containing multiple personal documents was found in a messy state by Madera County Sheriff’s Office deputies. According to Hughes's niece, Ashley Macus, said that it was "almost as if her car and belongings had been emptied carelessly."
As SFGate reports via the sheriff's office Facebook page, Hughes's silver Saab 9-5 was discovered last weekend, and some hikers in the area reported spotting Hughes walking barefoot and with a visible bruise on her face. The woman reportedly declined an offer of help, but the sighting deepens the mystery about Hughes's mental and physical state during this trip, which has now gone over two weeks.
The search for Hughes continued Sunday and will continue today, as CBS Sacramento reports, despite Madera County authorities also being preoccupied with a wildfire in the area.
The sheriff's office issued an update Sunday night on Facebook saying, "Search efforts are ongoing and teams are following up on leads as they are discovered. There is a possibility she headed north towards Yosemite. Please keep your eyes out if you are in the area!"
This post will be updated as we learn more.