After the first night, Erik apparently became impatient waiting for the mechanic to return from the long weekend and chose to reclaim the vehicle.
It is still unclear how Erik was able to get the vehicle running again.
Due to the dense foliage and lack of concrete clues, the efficacy of aerial investigation was limited and ground searches waned.
Samantha worked doggedly to collaborate with local law enforcement and media to spread word of Erik’s disappearance throughout the Mendocino region.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Erik stayed at Laytonville’s Budget Inn for two nights.
Large scraps of bark and sticks had been placed under the tires indicating someone had attempted to extricate the van themselves.Some suggest this southward route indicates Erik was considering abandoning his Oregon destination and returning to his Hermosa Beach home.Using bloodhounds, Mendocino Sheriff tracked Erik’s movement.Between the off-roaders finding of the vehicle and law enforcements investigation, Samantha described how, “The car was intact when the ATV people found it, but by the time police had it towed, it had been broken into.There were things in the car when he left – a pretty expensive camera and a couple of computers – but those were not there.” It is worth noting that the van was found south of Laytonville.