Crime & Justice

Woman's body found in Mojave Desert mine shaft

File photo: Mine shaft.
File photo: Mine shaft.
cbcastro/flickr Creative Commons

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in an abandoned mine shaft near a tiny community in the Mojave Desert south of Ridgecrest.

The department says the body has been identified as that of 71-year-old Sandra Jean McKinney of Red Mountain and homicide investigators have the case due to the suspicious nature of her disappearance.

A missing person report drew deputies to the area along U.S. 395 late Sunday afternoon but a search on the ground and with the help of a sheriff's helicopter was unsuccessful.

The body was discovered in the mine shaft at about 4:45 p.m. Monday.

Red Mountain is about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.