Body found out in desert may be missing Simi mom
BY ERIC LEACH, Staff Writer
LA Daily News
SIMI VALLEY - A body found in the desert east of the Owens Valley could be that of Renee Fox, a Simi Valley mother who disappeared June 24, investigators said Monday.
The Inyo County Coroner's Office was trying to positively identify the body and determine the cause of death.
Inyo County sheriff's investigators provided few details, but relatives said the body was nude and appeared to be that of Fox, the mother of a 5-year-old son.
"This is just very hard, very, very hard for the whole family. We're having a very difficult time trying to get through this," said Linda Romig of Winnetka, Renee's aunt.
"From the very beginning I felt something was amiss," said Romig, who noted that the body was found about 40 feet from Mazourka Canyon Road, where the search for Fox had been concentrated more than a month ago.
Inyo County sheriff's Sgt. Marston Motweiler said the woman's body was found Thursday evening along the road about eight miles east of the town of Independence.
He also said a photo of Fox had been sent to the Inyo County Register, along with a postcard featuring cut-out pictures of alcoholic beverages, potato chips and the head of an extraterrestrial creature pasted on a sheriff's uniform. The mailing has been turned over to a state forensics laboratory and FBI profilers.
The Mazourka Canyon Road had been searched for days by authorities using a helicopter and canine units.
Family members with motorcycles also searched for days after Fox's disabled car was found in the rugged canyon generally used by off-road vehicles.
Fox was known for her poor sense of direction, and relatives speculated that she'd made a wrong turn on Mazourka Canyon Road.
She was last seen by some campers June 24 walking back down the road toward Independence.
Reese Somes of Simi Valley, who spent more than five days in the Independence area searching for his sister, said it is possible she succumbed to dehydration and 100-degree-plus heat and was missed during the initial searching, or was possibly abducted.
"Could she have been taken away and brought back? It's possible," he said.