A faded poster still remains outside of the Mt. Grant General Hospital emergency room exit, 11 years after Nita Mayo went missing on Aug. 8, 2005 while on a road trip through the Sierra Mountains to Sonora.
The five-foot tall nurse who was spunky with an English accent went on that day trip alone, after a friend decided to cancel but Mayo would not be stopped on taking that trip. If only she would have known what awaited her. The answers are still unclear for her friends, family and coworkers who also wonder the same.
Fax coversheets show the image of Mayo and the date she went missing. Ribbons still hang inside of the hospital in Hawthorne where she worked, made friends and where employee’s still await news of her disappearance.
When Mayo did not return from that trip, coworkers immediately notified authorities. The report set off a two-state search for the missing nurse.
Mineral County Search and Rescue combed the roads and hills of their county, which borders California. Nothing was found. Her car would be found in the vicinity of Donnell’s Vista Outlook in Tuolomne County, Calif. Inside that 1997 silver Mercury Sable station wagon was her purse; wallet; keys and cell phone. Along with purchased souvenirs from the Strawberry General Store. Missing was Mayo and her camera. To date, neither has been located.
Searches of the area would span years. A memorial to the nurse would be erected as well as missing posters bearing her name.
Earlier this year, remains were found in the California county. Dental records would confirm that those remains did not belong to the 67-year-old Hawthorne lady. Nor did they match those of Patty Tolhurst, who had vanished from the same area and like Mayo, had her car discovered at the Donnell’s Vista Point overlook, abandoned.
She was declared legally deceased in 2013.
Like many residents of Mineral County, Sheriff Randy Adams expressed his hope in answers being provided to the family about the whereabouts of Mayo.
“I hope some evidence can be gathered to give closure to the family,” he said.
Until more comes forward, a tiny town in Nevada will remember the small woman with a big personality and continue to wait.