Body of missing Barstow woman found
BARSTOW • The body of missing Barstow woman Priscilla Delzell has been found near her home and positively identified by dental records, authorities said Wednesday.
Delzell, 44, disappeared following a walk into the desert July 18 near her residence on the 29000 block of Exeter Street.
On Sunday, her body was found in the desert by a mountain biker, about 200 feet east of Irwin Road and roughly one mile north of Old Highway 58, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman.
Investigators did not provide a further description of the area where the body was found.
Sheriff-Coroner's spokeswoman Sandy Fatland confirmed that dental records positively identified Delzell on Tuesday. Her family was then notified Wednesday.
Bachman said it remained an open investigation and the cause of death was pending. No further information was available.
Sheriff's were reportedly conducting an investigation near Fort Irwin Road on Sunday and Monday, but told the Desert Dispatch they were not releasing any details at that time, saying only there was no threat to public safety.
Delzell, who battled bi-polar disorder and was given a modification to the dosage of her medication around the time of her disappearance, leaves behind three children and a husband.
Immediately following her disappearance, Sheriff's officials, family, volunteers and members of First Baptist Church began to search but found nothing. All leads ultimately led nowhere.
Rumors that Delzell had been spotted in a Pennsylvania convenience store or may have been picked up by an Interstate 15 motorist were never substantiated.
Authorities served a search warrant at the Delzell home Aug. 21, seeking items which may have contained evidence.
Priscilla Delzell’s husband, Carl Delzell, wrote that the home was "ransacked" on the family-established Facebook page, "Search for Priscilla Delzell."
The relationship between Sheriff's officials and the family was strained from nearly the beginning.
Carl Delzell has publicly expressed discontent over the department's efforts to find his wife, claiming that the investigation was essentially botched and misdirected.
He told the Desert Dispatch on Aug. 8 that officials wanted him and his children to submit to a polygraph test, as well as to confiscate many of the family's electronics.
"I know they needed to investigate the family," he had said, "but I did not expect to be threatened like that."
The family hired attorney Stanley Hodge to represent them.
Sheriff's Det. Glenn Mellor denied other claims, including that authorities ever told the family to stop independently searching for the woman or forbid them from hiring a private investigator.
Mellor also said the search warrant, where investigators took "high-tech items," was the department doing its job.
Carl Delzell's brother, Curtis Delzell, was arrested, booked and released for interfering with a second search warrant being served Oct. 1 at the family home.
Deputies returned to the home to seize a pickup truck belonging to Carl Delzell which had not been there Aug. 21. Curtis Delzell entered the vehicle as it was in the process of being towed and began throwing items out of it, authorities said.
After being "told several times to stop throwing items and to get out of the truck ... he refused to comply with these orders," according to a Sheriff's news release.
It's possible Curtis Delzell had been borrowing the truck.
All along, the case has been a missing person's investigation. Authorities said as late as Oct. 2 that nothing had been found to suggest otherwise.