Coconino County looking into all leads as Chelsea Grimm still missing
Grimm's abandoned vehicle was found west of Williams
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — A search continues for a missing woman whose car was found abandoned west of Williams Oct. 5.
“We’ve been working this since the fifth, this is now the 10th day of the search,” said Coconino County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jon Paxton. “We have no reason to believe there is foul play, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t.”
Chelsea Grimm, 32, was on a road trip from her home in San Diego to Connecticut for a family wedding when she notified her family she planned to spend some time in Arizona on the way, the Sheriff’s Office said.
After she failed to meet up with a friend in Phoenix, her family reported her missing.
“Initially we were told that she was on a trip to Connecticut but she decided not to do it,” Paxton said. “So from everything we’re seeing, she decided to come up to Northern Arizona for a retreat.”
Paxton said on Oct. 4, hunters reported that they found Grimm’s vehicle abandoned on a remote road between Williams and Ash Fork. They said the vehicle had been there since Oct. 3.
The Sheriff’s Office sent deputies to the scene to conduct a hasty search of the general area. Upon investigation, the car had two flat tires, was locked and some belongings were still inside. Her phone, wallet, and bearded dragon named "Roz" or "Roxy" are missing, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“The search and rescue started the very next day,” Paxton said. “We have utilized ranger helicopters, dogs, bicycles and ground trackers.”
Paxton said the family was contacted and ground searching continued for four days with no signs of Grimm.
“People have asked us about drones, but with such a large range we don’t have that capability,” he said.
Paxton said further investigation found that Grimm’s phone was turned off and none of her credit cards have been used.
“I think our strongest theory right now is that she tried to walk out or she got into a vehicle with somebody,” he said. “If you’ve been in that area you know you can’t go a mile without coming across a road. So it (doesn’t seem) like she would wander out in the wilderness and never find a road - and there are hunters all over the place.”
Various people in the Williams area reported making contact with Grimm Sept. 27-30, before she went missing, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
On Sept. 28, a Williams Police Department officer responded to a call about a suspicious activity at the Williams Cemetery.
Grimm was found in her vehicle and said she had been taking photographs of headstones in the cemetery. She appeared upset, according to body cam footage from the officer.
She mentioned that she didn't have a hotel because she planned on camping out for the night. The officer asked if she was okay and then recommended locations where she could sleep in her vehicle in town.
On Sept. 30, woodcutters reportedly spoke with Grimm in Kaibab National Forest but did not observe anything unusual.
“They observed her car later when it was getting dark and asked her if everything was good,” he said. “She made no indication that anything was wrong on the 30th.”
The investigation is ongoing at this time.
“We are checking all the leads that come in and we have asked the public for help,” Paxton said.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking if anyone remembers seeing or having any contact with Chelsea or her bearded dragon, to please call (928) 774-4523.