Erin Corwin, the pregnant, 19-year-old wife of a U.S. Marine, disappeared while heading into the vast Southern California desert Saturday. Now police, who found her abandoned car on Monday, say that she vanished under “definite suspicious circumstances” and they fear that the Tennessee native may have fallen victim to an unthinkable fate.
San Bernardino Sheriff’s investigators are now reaching out to the public to help locate the missing woman, described as 5’2″ and about 120 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. She has no record of any mental or physical health problems.
She left the military base in Twentynine Palms, California, where she lives with her husband, Marine Corporal Jonathan Wayne Corwin, on Saturday morning and was last seen at about 7 am. Her husband reported her missing on Sunday, and is now cooperating with the investigation, police said.
Erin Corwin is pregnant with the couple’s first child, though she had not yet shared the news with her family.
“Erin is the absolute bottom of my list for something like this to happen,” her sister-in-law DeeAnna Heavilin, who said she was unaware of Erin’s pregnancy, told People Magazine. “She is not an at-risk person, she doesn’t have a wild side, no drugs, no history of anything like that. She is a military wife who stays home and volunteers at a horse shelter. This is the last person who you would ever think that something like this could happen to.”
Authorities have already run ground and aerial searches for the missing pregnant woman but turned up nothing. About 30 trained volunteers are continuing to search in Joshua Tree National Park, through what authorities describe a rocky and dangerous areas, where heat can become extreme.
Sheriff’s deputies found her blue, 2013 Toyota Corolla — license plate 7CJX519 — on Monday, but would not disclose where the car was discovered, except that it was not far from the Twentynine Palms military base. Family members believed that she was taking a day trip into the 1,200 square-mile desert park to scout out locations for an upcoming visit from her mother, who was traveling from Knoxville, Tennessee, to celebrate Erin’s 20th birthday on July 15.
“We were going to go to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World,” said her mother, Lore Heavilin. “And she was so excited about that upcoming trip. My gut was just tore up, just tore up. You feel like you’re walking in a nightmare.”