Who Was Amanda Nenigar? California Woman Found Dead Unclothed 1.5 Miles from Where Her Abandoned Car Was Discovered in Arizona Desert

Nenigar's family had earlier criticized the official search efforts, claiming that she had provided nearly exact coordinates of where her car was found.

A woman from California who went missing last month after becoming stranded in the Arizona desert has been found dead. Amanda Nenigar, 26, who went missing on February 28, was found naked under a tree near Cibola, Arizona, on Friday, 1.5 miles away from where her deserted vehicle was found on March 7.

Nenigar's cause of death has not been revealed, and officials from La Paz County have stated that they are in the process of conducting an autopsy to obtain further details surrounding her death. It comes as a chilling 911 call revealed Nenigar's confusion as she tried to explain her location to an operator, hours before she disappeared.

Mysterious Death

Amanda Nenigar
Amanda Nenigar X

Nenigar's family had earlier criticized the official search efforts, claiming that she had provided nearly exact coordinates of where her car was found. Her sister Marissa told KKTV last week, "They could have found her."

In the recently released 911 audio, Nenigar was heard grappling with describing her whereabouts to the dispatcher, saying, "Um, I'm not sure, I see a field."

Amanda Nenigar
Amanda Nenigar Facebook

Her family suggests that a crucial error that might have hindered search efforts was the area that her 911 call was directed to.

Despite being in a remote area in Arizona, the call was routed to California dispatchers, which her family said contributed to the confusion over what she was describing.

Marissa said: "I don't know why they didn't transfer her to dispatch in Arizona. She gave them her exact location and someone could have went and got her. They could have found her."

During the call, Nenigar sounded confused and described vague landmarks, prompting the dispatcher to inquire further, asking, "What are you surrounded with? Do you just see fields? Is that all you see?"

"I'm like kind of in a valley," she responded.

Amanda Nenigar
Amanda Nenigar Facebook

"Yeah, there's just a lot of mountains... I climbed to like a high mountain and I'm wearing pink."

The 911 operator asked her "so you're on Highway 78, you think? And what would be the nearest cross streets?"

"Um, I'm not sure, I see a field," Nenigar responded, while the dispatcher admitted to struggling to obtain a navigational signal from her call.

"I'm trying to get a location on you, but I'm not getting one," he said.

The call was made on February 27, and Nenigar was reported missing by her family the following day when they were unable to reach her.

Tragic End

Following weeks of extensive searches for Nenigar, her vehicle was found by the La Paz County Sheriff's Office in a secluded desert area in Cibola, Arizona, with its rear wheels positioned atop a boulder.

Amanda Nenigar
Amanda Nenigar Facebook

Nenigar's sister said at that time that the discovery left the family bewildered, as "she's never been in that part of the desert, ever."

"It's not a familiar area for her to go," sister Merissa Nenigar added.

She slammed authorities for what she considered a mishandled investigation, with reports suggesting that the La Paz County Sheriff's Office only learned about the 911 call once they became involved.

The timeline regarding the duration between California investigators receiving the missing person's tip and the Arizona sheriff's office being informed about the 911 call remains unclear.

The sheriff's office later confirmed that the California dispatcher was confused by the coordinates provided by Nenigar over the phone.

Despite the dispatcher asking whether Nenigar was on Highway 78 during the 911 call, reports suggest that law enforcement officers were dispatched to search along Highway 95, around 40 miles away from where her car was eventually found.

It wasn't until Arizona deputies joined the search and listened to the call that they were able to track her coordinates to a location just over a mile from where the vehicle was found.

Amanda Nenigar
Amanda Nenigar Facebook

Following the tragic news of her discovery, Nenigar's family said they were devastated but also were thankful for the efforts of the searchers.

"We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone that helped in the search for Amanda Nenigar," the statement read.

"The family is incredibly grateful to have people like each of you who have volunteered and dedicated their time and resources into finding her.

"It is with a heavy heart that we must report to you all, she was found deceased last night... We have many questions and have been informed that her death is being investigated and an autopsy will follow.

"Our hearts are broken and we will miss her dearly. Please grant our family privacy as we mourn the loss of Amanda and prepare for the days ahead of us."