Published January 13, 2015
This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," July 4, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
JAMIE COLBY, GUEST HOST: Well, search dogs, investigators, family and friends, everybody joined in to try and find Renee Fox. She's a 25-year- old mother, and she vanished in California.
But, so far, all the efforts have come up short. Are there any new clues? Can police find this young mother?
Joining us live on the phone is Mike Gervais, a staff writer for the Inyo County Register, good to talk to you Mike.
MIKE GERVAIS, INYO COUNTY REGISTER: Glad to be on the show, Greta.
COLBY: It's actually Jamie tonight in for Greta. What is the very latest on the search? Have they called it off at this point?
GERVAIS: Well, investigators have called off the search in the Mazurka Canyon area. They searched for four days on the ground and in the air and with K-9 units and they haven't been able to find her. They did actually even bring in a mine safety crew from Kern County. That is mining country up there and there is the possibility that she could have fallen down a mineshaft.
COLBY: So, Mike, what did they find though of hers? It was kind of unusual. She left some things behind right?
GERVAIS: Right. In her car they did find her cell phone, which family members have said was very odd. And then about two miles south of the car about ten miles outside of Independence, California, they found some of her personal effects, some clothes and a blanket and her purse and wallet. And, in the wallet she also had $900 and a credit card, which was left behind.
COLBY: And she had paid for everything while she was there in cash. Do police suspect foul play or that she might have hooked up with somebody she was planning to meet?
GERVAIS: You know nobody really knows at this time. That's definitely a route that they're investigating but as far as the evidence goes it doesn't point one way or the other.
COLBY: Had she ever gone off and vanished before? I know she has a 5- year-old child back home but is this the first time she ever left for a period of time?
GERVAIS: No, it isn't. According to her family it's not uncommon for her to disappear for a day or so but she has been very diligent if she does leave to call her son every night, which she quit doing on Thursday the 24th is the last time she spoke with her son.
COLBY: OK, and what else have they learned from people in the area? Who are police talking to at this point?
GERVAIS: Well, investigators have checked with all the local hotels and motels just in case she got a ride out of the area and is staying here in the county but that hasn't led to anything. So far they're staying in contact with family and friends and just trying to find a reason why she could have come up to this area or what she could have been doing. That remains a mystery.
COLBY: OK. And in terms of the items that they found in the car, her car broke down and some people did see her after that, correct? Didn't anyone try to offer help?
GERVAIS: Yes. When she walked back towards Independence, her car broke down about 12 miles east of Independence in Mazurka Canyon and as she was walking back toward Independence a few motorists did stop and I believe she declined a couple of rides, but one person did give her some water.
COLBY: All right, thank you so much Mike for that information.
And joining us now from Los Angeles is Renee Fox's nephew Blake Somes. Blake, was it unusual for your aunt to go off like this?
BLAKE SOMES, NEPHEW OF RENEE FOX: Well she'll usually go away for a couple days, you know, to get things off her mind and such, but like he said going away from her son for that long without calling, especially like not calling her son because like that's her life and...
COLBY: What about going to this area was this an area she had gone to before?
SOMES: No, this wasn't a familiar area for her. Actually on the way up there she called her boyfriend asking for directions and also asking him to come up there with her.
COLBY: OK and he turned her down from what I understand.
SOMES: Yes, he said it — yes he said it was too far and he didn't want to go up there.
COLBY: Why do you think she had this much money on her?
SOMES: You know I don't really know but that's really unusual for her to have that amount of money on her and be in an area like that and especially since she left it in her car and her purse and her leaving her purse behind is very, very unusual because there's nowhere she's at without her purse.
COLBY: Blake, you said that she sometimes would go off to think about things or maybe make herself feel better. Was she upset about anything at the time?
SOMES: She was recently going through a divorce and her ex-husband got custody of the child, my cousin, and that's probably where she was kind of trying to go off maybe and think about it.
COLBY: So, Blake, if foul play isn't involved and she's listening tonight or someone that she's with is listening what would you want to tell her?
SOMES: I would want to tell her that to at least call me or one of the family just to let us know she's OK. And, yes, just let us know she's OK because we miss her and we just want to know she's OK because the whole family is just devastated.
COLBY: Have you talked to police?
SOMES: I haven't. I've talked to a private investigator we got, but even he said it's a dead end. He has no evidence to go off of.
COLBY: So, has he been to the location the private investigator and what, you know, what does he think in terms of the fact that her car broke down, people offered help and she left her purse, her cell phone and all this money behind, any theories?
SOMES: He thinks it's a bit — yes, he thinks it's very odd. He thinks there could be someone that just picked her up and because her purse was still there because if she took the ride willingly from someone she would obviously went back and got her purse or back to her car to get the money out of her car because she needs money to survive.
COLBY: And since then...
SOMES: And he thinks...
COLBY: There's been no record of her, you know, she hasn't called anyone else other than the family?
SOMES: No. The last record of her calling anyone was Friday to ask for directions from her boyfriend.
COLBY: And what does he say? Has he talked to police her boyfriend?
SOMES: Yes. From what I'm told he gave his cell phone with the text message that he got after the phone call and I think the police still have the cell phone.
COLBY: All right, Blake, we've put up a number if anyone has information. Thanks so much and good luck.
SOMES: OK, thank you very much.
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