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Missing Since 07/22/1996
Inyo County, California
Classification Lost/Injured Missing
Date of Birth Used 02/26/1986 (35)
Age 10 years old
Height and Weight Unknown
They were last known to be at Death Valley in Inyo County, California. They bought a booklet at the Furnace Creek Visitors Center; the receipt for the transaction was dated July 22, 1996.
However, the visitors never arrived there; they turned off that route a mile short of the pass and drove east into Anvil Spring Canyon. Investigators are uncertain as to why, as the canyon is very isolated, closed to traffic, and not a usual destination for first-time tourists.
It was located on October 26, 1996, stuck in the sand at Anvil Spring Canyon. Three of the tires were flat. There was no sign of any of the missing people at the scene and their passports, Cornelia's purse, the rental car contract, the keys, Rimkus's wallet, all the money and the airline tickets were missing.
Miscellaneous items were located inside the vehicle, including a sleeping bag, clothing and shoes, beer and beer bottles, a camera with several exposed rolls of film, an American flag, and two empty one-gallon water containers. A beer bottle was found half a mile away from the site where the Voyager was located; the bottle was the same kind that was inside the van.
The area the group disappeared from is very dangerous because of its high temperatures; it was about 124 degrees on the day the missing tourists were last heard from, and no one could survive those conditions more than a few days in those temperatures without a source of water.
In November 2009, hikers found some human bones in a remote area of the desert. Authorities determined they were from an adult male and female. In June 2010, the male bones were identified as Rimkus's. The female's bones are presumed to be Cornelia's, but they were so dry that investigators could not extract enough DNA from them for analysis.