Thursday May 26, 2022

Remains of woman missing since December found near forest lake

The skeletal remains of a 37-year-old woman missing since December have been discovered near Lake Shaver in California’s Sierra National Forest, authorities said.

Samantha Tomlinson, of Fresno, was reported missing on December 3, 2021, after she did not return from a shopping trip, CBS Sacramento reported.

Crews began searching for Tomlinson, checking the Sierra National Forest and Sequoia National Park, due to Tomlinson being an avid hiker who frequented these areas.

Samantha Tomlinson  / Credit: Fresno County Sheriff's OfficeSamantha Tomlinson  / Credit: Fresno County Sheriff's Office

Samantha Tomlinson / Credit: Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

However, crews were unable to find Tomlinson or her car.

On May 2, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an abandoned 2002 Honda Civic east of Shaver Lake. Upon checking the license plate, they discovered that the car belonged to Tomlinson.

It was believed that the car had been covered in snow throughout the winter which is why it wasn’t found sooner.

After the discovery, around 20 search and rescue members were deployed to the area to continue the search for Tomlinson.

On May 4, search and rescue members found bones in an area of rough terrain about half a mile away from where they discovered Tomlinson’s car.

The bones were taken to the coroner’s office where Tomlinson’s identity was confirmed via dental records on May 6.

No foul play is suspected, authorities said.

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