On August 8, 2020 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a report from a hiker of a potentially deceased female in the foothills west of Manzanar National Historic Site. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and located a deceased female. A search of the area produced a red sweatshirt and multicolored tennis shoes approximately two miles from her body near the base of the Sierra Mountain Range.
Inyo County Search and Rescue were dispatched to the scene to provide additional tracking support on August 8 and August 9. Based on foot impressions it is believed that she walked north along Foothill Road after exiting a vehicle, then east along a smaller dirt road where she eventually sat down and perished. There was no indication of a struggle or initial signs of foul play.
There was no identification located near or around the body; however Bishop Police Department had logged contact with a female matching the description of the decedent on July 30. Based on the information gathered during the contact, a positive identification was confirmed on August 11 and next of kin was notified. The deceased has been identified as Elaine Hartnett, a 48-year old woman from Pioneer, CA. A forensic autopsy has been scheduled to take place in Orange County, CA to determine cause of death. If anyone has had contact with Ms. Hartnett in Inyo County and can provide information please call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760-878-0383, option 4