Details of Disappearance
Carl was last seen in the Big Smoky Valley in Lander County, Nevada on July 7, 2002. He and his wife, Debra Jean Sanders, were sightseeing east of Highway 376 when their car ran out of gas on a Forest Service road.
The temperatures during that time reached 125 degrees, and Carl and Debra had no water or other provisions with them. They decided to walk to the main road for assistance.
Debra was found in a delirious state by a motorist two days later and airlifted to the Washoe Medical Center in Reno, Nevada for treatment. She was suffering from dehydration and severe sunburn and was in critical condition. Carl was not with her and he has never been heard from again.
Debra told authorities that they became lost and walked back and forth for three or four miles before separating. Searchers found Carl's shirt, cutoff shorts, and one of his sandals; it is common for individuals suffering from heat stroke to take off their clothes. He is believed to be still wearing his wedding band, however.
California police are assisting in the investigation; Carl and Debra lived in Fairfield, California in 2002.