NEWBERRY SPRINGS • After nearly a decade-long search, Gloria Denton hasn't given up hope of finding her missing daughter.
On Tuesday, Denton revealed plans to return to the area in the coming months to continue the search for April Pitzer, who was last seen alive in the desert near Newberry Springs in 2004.
Denton, who lives in Arkansas, said she hasn't been to the area since August 2011 because she was recovering from back surgery.
When she does return, Denton said she'll need volunteers to help with the search, including a handler with a cadaver dog.
Members from the Barstow Search and Rescue, Mojave Underground, Trinity Search and Recovery, Texas Equsearch, Underground Explorers and the Kristen Foundation have assisted in the past.
"There are three locations that I hope to cover this time," she said. The location names and coordinates are being kept secret to avoid potential tampering.
Denton applauded the efforts of San Bernardino County Sheriff's Det. Steve Pennington who's been on the case since 2006.
"They're aware that I'm coming and what my intentions are," she said. "In the event bones are located, and I feel really good about one location, then they will be there."
Pitzer's story captured national attention when the 30-year-old Arkansas native went missing days before she was set to leave for home again.
It's been a particularly frustrating search for Denton, throughout the whole ordeal, with leads that have fallen flat, cryptic tips that only raise more questions and countless searches that have ended without resolution.
"Every time there are bones found — I've been told by the coroner and Det. Pennington — no matter where, the first thing people say is 'I wonder if this is April,'" she said.
Pitzer was declared legally dead on Aug. 27 after Attorney Jeanne Kennedy agreed to file for a death certificate pro bono, Denton said.
"The girls and I thank her so very much," she said. "It was a true, true act of kindness."
The filing will allow Pitzer's two daughters — ages 14 and 12 — to receive survivor benefits, Denton said.
"They just want their mom home, a place to bring her flowers," she explained.
Denton is now considering moving out to the area to be able to search more regularly.
"I'll look as long as God will allow my body to do it."
For more information on how to help, visit Facebook.com (Missing - April Beth Pitzer) or call Gloria Denton at 479-508-7336.
Anyone with information in the disappearance of April Pitzer should call Det. Steve Pennington with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Homicide unit at 909-653-6581.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.