Mary Joanna Gomez, 56, of Mississippi has not been heard from since she texted her daughter on Thursday, Oct. 24. Gomez, a nurse who is on assignment in San Francisco, reportedly left the city on Wednesday, Oct. 23, for vacation.
She is described as 5 feet, 7 inches, in height with white hair; her ethnicity is unknown. She was driving a dark gray 2018 Toyota C-HR with Mississippi plates.
The text communication with her daughter included photos of different sites in Kings Canyon National Park: Roaring River Falls, the Kings Canyon, and Grant Grove.
Mary was expected back at work on Friday, Oct. 25, and missed her shift. Her family reported her missing to the San Francisco Police Department.
Staff working at the Giant Forest Museum think they saw the missing woman on Saturday, Oct. 26, at about 9 a.m., when she was inquiring about things to do and see in the Giant Forest.
Anyone who has been in the parks since Wednesday, October 23, specifically in the Little Baldy area, and think they may have seen Mary Joanna Gomez or her vehicle, call the tip line at 888-677-2746.
According to Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, Sequoia-Kings Canyon public information officer, on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 12:30 a.m., Gomez’s vehicle was located at the Little Baldy trailhead in Sequoia National Park (on the Generals Highway about 5 miles north of Lodgepole) by a ranger who was responding to another call. After it was confirmed to be her vehicle, the ranger left a note in case she returned, but at last report, her vehicle remains in the same location.
Several search-and-rescue teams have been searching in the vicinity of Gomez’s vehicle. More teams will be joining the search as will a helicopter for an aerial search.
Gomez’s husband and daughter arrived in Kings Canyon National Park on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 27. They are with National Park Service staff.
As of yesterday, the family reportedly did not suspect mental health or foul play. An investigation is continuing.
The following comment was posted Sunday, Oct. 27, on Facebook by Gomez’s daughter:
“She was last known to be wearing a black puffer jacket, navy mid-ankle hiking shoes (I believe Merrill), and carrying a small purple hiking backpack.”
See subsequent article with updates here.