This is the kind of day trip Nita Mayo enjoyed. She disappeared on this road two weeks ago. Her family has been searching for her ever since. Highway 108 climbs and winds through the High Sierra between the Walker River Canyon and Sonora, California. This is some of the High Sierra's most dramatic scenery. It's easy to understand why she was drawn to it. Easy to understand why she would make a stop at Donnell's Vista on the western slope. But it's also easy to understand the challenge of searching for someone here. Steep, even vertical walls, hillside and canyon as rough as terrain gets, much of it thick with brush and trees. Her car was found in the parking lot here...locked, key, wallet and cell phone inside. She may have stopped here to rest. She may have wanted to enjoy the view. So far we can only guess what happened then. Searchers have combed this hillside, rappelled hundreds of feet down the drop off without finding a single clue. Her family clings to the remaining possibilities...none of them comforting.
Tracy Mayo, the missing woman's daughter, "maybe somebody grabbed her. Maybe she had a stroke and she's somewhere disoriented."
The search for their mother has become her family's full-time quest. From Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota, they've come here to stay as long...they say as it takes....
Pete Mayo, Missing Woman's Son, "It's the only thing I know how to do. I'm not leaving until I find her."
They complain authorities seem to have given up, but say they're grateful for the volunteer help they've had. Today they're searching alone, but with a 4 wheel drive pickup and a pair of ATV's loaned by a local man who was once lost up here himself.
After a brief stop the two men are off to search another area in an ever widening arc around the place she was last seen. As difficult as this ground search is, the search for a witness is even more daunting.
Family and friends have distributed fliers up and down Highway 108 hoping to find that witness. So far, that effort, like the ground search has come up empty. Inevitably the search for Nita Mayo brings us back where the mystery began, but there's no sign of her here, no indication where the search should go. Her family vows to continue until she's found.