College Student Mysteriously Disappears On Long Road Trip
A 23-year-old college student has been missing for a week after going on a solo road trip, and her car was found abandoned on the side of the road with a flat tire.Dianne Thacher is a recent transfer student at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada—an area located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe—who went missing on October 6, according to a release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. She had driven from the college to Santa Barbara to meet someone, according to her mother, Jacquelyn Thacher. Jacquelyn said she last spoke with her daughter on October 5 as Dianne was preparing to drive from Santa Barbara back to Nevada, which would be about a 500-mile trip.
"I said, 'It's too long of a drive, you have an older tire, the car needs tires and everything,'" Jacquelyn told 10 News. "So I got her to check into a hotel. She said she would. And from then on there was no contact."
Dianne was last seen checking out of a Super 8 Motel located in the 6000 block of Hollister Avenue in Goleta, a city in Santa Barbara County, on October 6. That same day, her black Honda CRV was found on the side of the road in the 7600 block of Hollister Avenue—only a few miles from the Super 8—abandoned with a flat tire and numerous parking tickets.
Her family, who lives in Rhode Island, reported her missing after they said they hadn't heard from her in several days. Investigators were able to trace her cell phone to several miles north of where they found her car, but the phone has been off since October 6.
Santa Barbara County Air Support has been looking for Dianne near where her car was found and where her cell phone was traced, while the Sheriff's Search and Rescue looked for her on the ground.
Police say there is no evidence of foul play but it is "suspicious," and Dianne's family said it's unlike her not to contact regularly or post on her Facebook. Jacquelyn said that her daughter does not have a history of mental illness.
Dianne had only recently begun attending classes at Sierra Nevada College and didn't know many people, according to Sierra Nevada College's newspaper Eagle Eye. Students she did know said they noticed some strange activity on her social media accounts on October 2 and 3, including changing her profile photos several times, friending a lot of people and writing on strangers' walls. Dianne's roommate at Sierra Nevada College said that, "There was some kind of resolution Dianne was hoping to have with her boyfriend." One of Dianne's professors said she had not been to class since the third week of the semester.
Dianne is described as a 23-year-old white woman who is 5'5" with blonde hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information can contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office at 805-683-2724 or leave an anonymous tip via 805-681-4171.