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Riverside County Sheriff's Department Investigating Several Disappearances In Idyllwild Area

IDYLLWILD (CBSLA) — Riverside County Sheriff's Department Thursday was continuing to search for five women and one man who have gone missing since March.

Idyllwild Missing Persons
Detectives say none of the cases appear to be connected. (Family photos)

One of the missing is Rosario Garcia, whose car was found abandoned, stuck on a boulder up a steep dirt road along Highway 74 in Pinyon Pines, near Idyllwild.

"There's just no way," Margarita Zavala, Garcia's daughter, said. "How could she get the car up there?"

Garcia, a 74-year-old grandmother who suffers from dementia, has been missing for a month now.

"She has osteoporosis, and she walks with a cane," Zavala said. "She didn't have her cane with her, so there's no way she would have made it down that hill without falling."

And even if she did fall, there has been no sign of her since, despite extensive searches by deputies, family members and community volunteers.

"We feel hopeless," Zavala said. "We don't know what else to do."

Garcia was last seen at her Hemet home where family members said she was feeling cooped up and isolated because of the coronavirus pandemic.

At first the family thought Garcia might have gone for a drive and got lost, but then they heard about the other five people who have recently gone missing near Idyllwild.

"Obviously something is going on," Zavala said. "I mean, too many people are missing in a short period of time, and then in the same area."

Jade Kemerer is another one of the missing. She was last seen checking out of the Bluebird Cottage Inn in Idyllwild on July 22.

The 30-year-old mother drove away in her Kia Optima and has not been heard from since.

"Jade is not always the most responsible person, but I will tell you she loves her son Henley, and I don't think she would have left her son without telling someone," Gabbi Rose, Kemerer's friend, said.

Dia Abrams was last seen at her ranch in Apple Canyon, 11 miles east of Idyllwild. The former La Jolla millionaire was reported missing on June 7.

Melissa Lane was last seen on Mountain Truck Trail, eight miles north of Idyllwild, where she got out a relative's car. Her mother, Kathy, has been looking for her since the Fourth of July and said she was starting to fear the worst.

"They could be stealing people for the sex slave trade, or it could be a serial killer," she said.

Venessa Vlasek, 27, was last seen June 21 in the Idyllwild area.

And Idyllwild resident Roy Prifogle was last seen at the Pine Cove Market March 4. His backpack was later found on a trail, but the 52-year-old father has been missing for four months.

"He's probably gone," Kendra Johnson, his daughter, said. "But we still have hope."

The sheriff's department said it does not believe any of the missing persons cases are connected in any way, but Zavala said she believes otherwise — especially in the five cases involving women.

"A predator or something," she said. "What does he want with these women?"

Anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of any of the missing people is asked to call their local law enforcement agency.

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