Months after husband's body found in desert, Williamsburg woman remains missing

Months after a Williamsburg couple set out for California on a cross-country road trip, questions remain after the husband’s body was found in the desert but his wife remains missing.

Search teams found Williamsburg resident William Schmeirer’s body in San Bernardino County, California on June 16, three days after he and his wife were reported missing, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

Three months later, Susan Schmeirer has not been found, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Judi Miller.

Officials stopped the search for Susan Schmeirer when a heat wave descended on the desert, bringing air temperatures over the dark landscape to as high as 170 degrees Fahrenheit, Miller said.

Rangers at the Morongo Basin Station of the Bureau of Land Management will continue the search for Susan Schmeirer toward the end of the month or in early October, according to Miller.

In the meantime, unidentified relatives of the Schmeirers have brought a surveillance drone company to the desert to see if they can find Susan with a bird’s eye view, Miller said.

So far the company has gone up in the air twice, but haven’t found anything, Miller said.

The couple left their Williamsburg home on May 27 and were expected to arrive in Palm Springs, California about a week later, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials later alerted the sheriff’s department of an abandoned vehicle near the Amboy Crater Trailhead in the Mojave Trails National Monument on federal lands in San Bernadino County.

The vehicle had been parked for more than a week, and the Schmeierers were identified as the owners of the vehicle, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

William Schmeierer’s body was located on June 16 and identified by Mike Sutcliffe, supervising coroner investigator for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, on June 28, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

As of June 28 searches remained ongoing in an effort to locate Susan Schmeirer in the desert of coarse black volcanic rock, according to Sutcliffe.

“We have nothing at this point. Searches are ongoing,” Sutcliffe said on June 28. “We’re just waiting for searches to determine anything regarding her.”

Susan Schmeirer worked part time at the College of William and Mary in undergraduate admission from 2010-2017, according to Virginia Gazette archives. William Schmeirer was a member of the Swem Library Board from 2014-2016. The pair are also parents to two alumni from the college.

Kate Perry, a senior assistant dean of admission at William and Mary, worked alongside Susan Schmeirer during her time at the college.

“She was certainly a wonderful staff member and a really big part of our team,” Perry said on June 28. “Definitely somebody we really cherished.”

Anyone with information on Susan Schmeirer’s location is encouraged to call 760-366-4175 or the anonymous We-Tip hotline at 888-78-CRIME.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329 or on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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