|Nita Mayo; Missing Person Nita Mayo of Sonora, CA was last seen around 10:00 a.m. on August 8, 2005. She had breakfast with a friend that morning before she left for Sonora Pass and hasn't been seen since.|
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Mother Lode Shows Support For Mayo Family
Mother Lode Shows Support For Mayo Family
Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 04:30 PM
Sabrina Sabbagh MML News Reporter
Strawberry, CA -- The usual hustle and bustle caused by tourism in Strawberry was met with an undertone of hope Sunday.
Family members, friends and concerned residents of Tuolumne County showed their support for the search of missing person Nita Mayo, by attending a Dedication Ceremony for the 65 year old Nevada woman at the Strawberry Store.
Mayo's daughter, Tracy Mayo says the ceremony was planned to remind people that the Mayo family is still dedicated and committed to continuing their search for Mayo.
She says the family will not give up until they find their mother and take her home. The event included the unveiling of a plaque, which the store owner is allowing the family to display there.
The plaque has a photo and information about Nita Mayo and the family believes it will be a constant reminder to visitors that she is still missing.
Butterflies were also released at the event to symbolize hope.
You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
-Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Investigators Asking For Help With Mayo Case
Sonora, CA -- The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department is asking for public assistance in its ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Hawthorne Nevada woman, Nita Mayo.
Since being reported missing on August 8th, 2005, there have been extensive searches and investigators from the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department, the Mineral County and Mono County Sheriff's Departments, the California Department of Justice and the FBI have put in hundreds of man hours trying to locate the 65 year old woman.
Reports indicate Mayo left her home in Hawthorne Nevada at approximately 10:00am on Monday, August 8th, 2005, telling friends she planned to visit a “village” on the west side of the Sonora Pass. She did not return to work as expected, and on Wednesday August 10th, her vehicle was found abandoned at the Donnell Vista Point on Hwy 108, just west of Dardanell's Resort approximately 40 miles east of Sonora.
Investigators believe there were more people at the Donnell Vista Point last year than they have identified and spoken with to date.
If you were in the general area of Donnell Vista Point during the date in August; or, if you are traveling in the area and see anything suspicious such as clothing, personal items appearing to have been abandoned, anything that might relate to the investigation call the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department at 209-533-5815.
August 9, 2006
One year later, no clues surface for missing Hawthorne nurse
Tuesday marked one year since a Hawthorne nurse went missing at a rest area on Sonora Pass in a case that still baffles her family and police.
Even though no clues to Nita Mayo's disappearance have surfaced, her children vow they will never give up searching for their mother.
"It's definitely been a long year but we're not too tired and not giving up. We're going to keep searching for her and trying to find somebody who knows something," said Tracy Mayo, a daughter who lives in North Dakota. "I'm a firm believer that somebody knows something."
Nita Mayo, 64, vanished from the Donnell Vista Overlook on Highway 108, a winding mountain road that begins from U.S. 395 in Nevada and leads to Sonora. It is a popular route for people traveling to Yosemite, Death Valley and Lake Tahoe, said Investigator Ed Warnock of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office in California.
Details about Nita's disappearance are few. Her family knows she left Hawthorne on the morning of Aug. 8, 2005, for a day trip over the Sonora Pass, possibly to shop at little towns along the way. She never came home.
Her car was found at the overlook, which is about 12 miles east of Strawberry, Calif., two days later. Nita's purse, car keys and cell phone were found in her locked vehicle, which could be opened via a keypad.
"We're assuming she had her camera and her prescription sunglasses. We think she was at the vista between 3 to 4:30 p.m.," Tracy said.
The family also discovered magnets, postcards and other trinkets purchased in Strawberry, along with a lunch their mother packed for the day-trip but never ate.
Beyond those few clues, nothing else is known.
"We think someone took her, maybe somebody she knows or a psycho," Tracy said.
She believes her mother may have stopped at the lookout to use the bathroom because facilities are rare on the pass road. She may have also wanted to take in the view of the mountains and a reservoir below.
Nita would not have purposely vanished, Tracy said, and her mother didn't show any signs of memory problems.
"She was still a practicing nurse at Mt. Grant Hospital. We asked the physicians she worked with and they said she was in good health," Tracy said.
Police and the family conducted numerous searches below the overlook, which consists of a 1,000 foot drop-off, Tracy said. She and her siblings hired rappellers to scour the terrain below the Donnell Vista parking lot. The most recent search was done after the snow melted.
"The run-off could have pushed piles of debris off a shoe, a camera or glasses. We searched the same areas because statistics show when someone is found it is usually in an area that was searched before," Tracy said.
About a dozen faithful friends helped search for Nita over the weekend.
"If there is an upside to this it is the people we have met. They are amazing. We have had some very, very dedicated people there for every search we've had," said Tracy. "It's definitely hard to live our lives because this is still there every day. I feel guilty if I go out for supper because I know she would have enjoyed it too."
Tracy's three sisters live in Oklahoma. She has a brother in Tennessee.
Investigators are also stymied over the case. Nita's disappearance was featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted" last month, and produced about three dozen tips. None have proven fruitful.
"I have a year invested in this case," said Investigator Warnock. "It's important for the communities up here and those in-between," he said Monday.
The area has been searched by ground, air, by dogs and rappellers without a trace of the missing woman. Volunteers from the U.S. Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center also combed the area, said Warnock. Hundreds of hours have been devoted to the case, with assistance from the FBI, the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, the Mono County Sheriff's Office, Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department and the California Department of Justice.
He is asking anyone who was at the Donnell Vista Point on Aug. 8, 2005, to call the sheriff's office at 209-533-5815.
"Even if you don't think you have anything to add in the investigation, there is no way we can discount what you may or may not have seen without speaking with you first," he said in a prepared statement.
He is also asking anyone who plans to be in the area hunting, fishing or hiking this summer to watch for items that might be related to the case.
"...if you are traveling in the area and see anything suspicious such as clothing, personal items appearing to have been abandoned, anything at all you think might related to this investigation could be of value to us," Warnock states.
On Sunday, Nita's family and friends held a dedication ceremony in Strawberry. A plaque with Nita's picture was cemented into the ground.
"On the plaque it says we are still dedicated to search for her until we bring her home," Tracy said. "I hope someone shows some compassion. We are appealing to the public if they know any piece of information, big or small. I honestly believe someone knows something. We are appealing to their memory or their conscience, either one."
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