Authorities have confirmed that the dead body found ravaged by a wild animal in California’s American River Canyon last week belonged to the 33-year-old woman who was reported missing earlier this month.
Yin Wong has been the subject of a massive search involving Nevada county authorities after her car was found abandoned in Auburn on the morning of December 3rd, reports The Sacramento Bee. Search-and-rescue volunteers of around 60 people swept through the Bowman area. Four days later, authorities discovered her body barefoot, about a mile from her car, reportedly damaged by a mountain lion.
According to the Placer County Coroner”s Office, while there was indeed evidence that a mountain lion caused some damage to her body, Wong’s cause of death is still under investigation. Based on their initial findings following her autopsy, the animal may have found her after she was already dead, the coroners said.
The sheriff’s office further explained that such behavior is quite normal for a mountain lion, noting that there is no apparent danger posed to the public. However, the office still urged anyone in the canyon to take precautions and be always conscious of the presence of wild animals.
Wong was reportedly last seen Saturday night by her boyfriend and a surveillance photo showed Wong shopping at Safeway in Sacramento the same morning her abandoned Toyota Camry was found near Interstate 80 on the outskirts of Auburn, reports the KCRA
. Wong’s shoes were found outside her vehicle.
Authorities have found no evidence of foul play so far. Investigators instead suggested that Wong may have been ill-equipped for the harsh conditions when she got lost as night temperatures have dropped into the 30s in the area throughout the week.
“(She was) definitely not prepared for the conditions that she’s in. We recovered some shoes outside her car when we located it,” Placer County sheriff’s Sgt. Ty Conners said. “It’s unknown if she actually has shoes on now or not, but her clothing was definitely not prepared for this kind of weather.”
According to reports the Sierra Sun
, Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Sullivan, the search-and-rescue coordinator, said Wong may have been “despondent or have psychological issues,”
noting that it “appears she may have wanted to harm herself.”
“It appears that she intentionally wrecked her vehicle into the brush and fled her vehicle,” he added.