Friends and family of Jan Mimovich have been searching for clues of her January 24, 2020 disappearance daily; looking in arroyos, garages, and daily wondering what happened to the beloved woman everyone knew. The closure process can finally begin, as her vehicle and remains were discovered in Elephant Butte Lake on Monday, May 11.
According to a press release from the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office, State Park Rangers were in the process of moving boat docks at the end of Monticello Boat Ramp when they inadvertently hooked onto a submerged vehicle. It was quickly determined the vehicle matched the description of Mimovich’s 2012 Silver Mercedes SUV.
With the assistance of area marina owner, Neil Brown, and staff, the car was pulled to an area about 30 feet off the shore line using the marina’s work barge. Divers with the New Mexico State Police Dive Team arrived and the car was eventually pulled to shore, and Mimovich’s remains were recovered. The car has since been impounded for further investigation.
The press release from the sheriff indicated that there is no signs of foul play, however, Lt. Josh Baker stated they would be awaiting the autopsy report for further details.
More than 100 volunteers have spent countless hours, joined area law enforcement agencies searching for Mimovich, 88, since her disappearance was reported late Friday night, January 24.
The Sierra County Sheriff’s Department received the call after Mimovich’s son arrived home and learned his mother had not arrived from their routine outing at Sierra Del Rio that night. Deputies searched the area for Mimovich’s Mercedes SUV and before daylight had worked with the New Mexico State Police to issue the statewide silver alert.
Immediately following Mimovich’s disappearance Lt. Baker said, “There’s just no evidence of where she disappeared to. We’ve traveled every traversable road in the county, private citizens have flown the air for days, the Elephant Butte State Park Rangers have searched the waters and there’s just no sign of her, or her car” he added.
Police were able to use tracking measures on her phone and verified no one was following her as she left the golf course or apparently became disoriented and couldn’t find her way to her Elephant Butte home. Police know that she did drive past the turn to her home, made it to Monticello Point, turned around and drove back to Rock Canyon before turning around again and the tracking went off near the Monticello RV park. “She has not turned her phone back on since it lost signal around 7 p.m. Friday night. But, according to her family, she was terrible about charging her phone,” Lt. Baker noted at the time.
The exhausting search with few leads included visual checks of area canyons and draws, roads and anywhere imaginable in the Sierra, Socorro and even Catron County areas.
Due to Mimovich’s dementia, Albuquerque Police and officers in the Denver-Pueblo, Colorado were also contacted incase she attempted to return to well-known areas from her past. Alerts were put on all of Mimovich’s bank and debit cards incase she tried to use them and were checked regularly with no leads. Her license plate had been entered into area DEA license plate readers as well.