(NewsNation) — Police in several states are on the lookout for a California woman who went missing during a cross-country road trip weeks ago.
Chelsea Grimm left her home in San Diego on Sept. 24, headed for a wedding in Connecticut. She was traveling with her pet bearded dragon. Three days into the trip, she met up with a friend in Phoenix, Arizona, and called her parents, Stephen and Janet, to say the drive was taking longer than she thought.
Grimm said she planned to skip the wedding and head back home to San Diego. That was the last time her parents heard from her.
“She was spontaneous. She changed plans a lot,” said Stephen during Monday’s edition of NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “This wasn’t the first time she ever changed a plan, for sure.”
“The magnitude of this adventure … of driving across the country, was a lot for Chelsea. We gave her a bunch of options,” Stephen added.
Grimm was reportedly spotted at a hotel in Seligman, Arizona, after the phone call with her parents. A witness said she seemed disoriented and was trying to use euros instead of U.S. currency.
On Sept. 28, a police officer, responding to a report of a woman acting suspiciously, found Grimm in her car at a cemetery in Williams, Arizona. Grimm told him she was working on a photography project about missing soldiers and had gotten emotional. She told the officer she planned to camp in her car that night.
Two days later on Sept. 30, a woodcutter saw Grimm camping in her SUV near Ashfork, Arizona. He said she seemed OK.
Grimm’s parents reported her missing on Oct. 4. The next day, hunters found Grimm’s SUV abandoned in the middle of a dirt road near Ashfork.
Both tires on the right side of the SUV were flat. Her cellphone, wallet, clothing and sleeping bag were not in the car, and her pet bearded dragon was also missing, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
Grimm’s mom, Janet, said she thinks the fact that the bearded dragon is also missing is a “hopeful sign.”
“She would never leave an animal in the car. She just wouldn’t do it,” Janet said.
“I also think that the chances of people recognizing Chelsea, or at least connecting the dots. If they see somebody with a bearded dragon, they’re going to take an extra look at that person. Because it’s unusual to be carrying around a bearded dragon, usually on her shoulder,” Janet said.
Janet also pointed out a tattoo on Grimm’s left arm, a design of a vine with leaves on it.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the missing woman to contact them at 928-774-4523.
Stephen added that officials in states surrounding Arizona have been notified of Grimm’s disappearance as well, saying it’s possible she may have traveled a long distance from where her car was found.
“Even if you’re several hours away from [Arizona] … and you’ve seen something that you think might be any kind of tip, we would be forever grateful if that’s an important clue,” he said.