CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A drone company based out of Chesapeake is helping in the search for a Williamsburg couple who went missing earlier this month in California.
William and Susan Schmeirer were on a cross country vacation when they disappeared in California’s Mojave Desert.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department released photos this week of William and Susan at Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark in the Eastern Mojave Desert. The couple’s car was found abandoned on June 13 at the Amboy Crater Trailhead parking lot.
DroneUp CEO Tom Walker says its professional pilots took thousands of pictures — creating a 360 degree look for searchers in places they wouldn’t have been able to search alone.
“It is a very large area,” Walker said. “The area that we’ve been focused on is about 10 square miles, which is nearly impassible — rough terrain with temperatures reaching about 117 degrees.”
Friends of the Schmeirer family reached out to DroneUp.
“When we went out and said to our top pilots in the fleet that we needed assistance. We had over 80 that worked around the clock, reviewing all of the data we were collecting,” Walker said.
He added, “We’re really proud of what the pilots, of what our pilots, did and the hard work that they put into this. But most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
Three days after the abandoned car was located, deputies say a man’s body was found. Deputies say because of the clothing they think it’s the body of William, but are waiting for dental records to confirm it.
Stay with WAVY.com for the latest developments.