California photographer Chelsea Grimm has vanished while on a cross-country road trip to document “the lost and forgotten people” of the U.S.
The 32-year-old photographer was reported missing on October 4 after her parents were unable to reach her days after she told them she planned to go camping in Arizona and may not have phone service.
AZ Family reports that her white Ford Focus SUV was found by police one day later, on October 5, on Forest Service Road, Ashfork after it was reported as being suspicious.
The vehicle’s tires were flat and Grimm’s personal belongings — including her wallet, credit cards, driver’s license, and pet bearded dragon Roxy — were not inside the locked car.
Detectives have said there has been no activity on her phone and her credit card had not been used in recent days.
‘I was Doing a Photoshoot… and Got a Little Emotional’
Grimm had set out from her home in San Diego for a wedding in Connecticut on September 24 and planned to document the “lost and forgotten people of this country” for a photography project on the way.
Grimm had decided to take her car on the 2,800-mile cross-country trip because she did not want to be separated from her pet Roxy on a plane.
However, the photographer had only got as far as Williams County, south of the Grand Canyon, when a police officer found her in distress while parked near a war memorial on September 28.
Grimm told the cop that she had become upset after doing a photo shoot with lost soldiers and that she was planning to camp in the nearby area.
“I just was doing a photo shoot of the lost soldiers and got a little emotional, so I was crying before I got back on the road,” Grimm tells the cop in her final filmed exchange.
“If it’s okay with you if I hang out here for another like 15 or 20 and then head on the road, that would be my plan I think.”
Two days later, on September 30, a woodcutter in the nearby Kaibab National Forest in Ashfork, Arizona was the last person to see the photographer, leaving her family confused and desperate to find her.
Grimm’s family has hired a private investigator to help local authorities investigate their daughter’s disappearance.
Image credits: All photos via Facebook and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.