The body of an Imperial County lawyer who went missing while driving home from a camping trip in Joshua Tree National Park was found over the weekend in an open desert area in the Eastern Coachella Valley, the Riverside County Coroner’s Office reported Wednesday.
The body of Ankit Goyal, 28, was found sometime Sunday in the open desert in Thermal. A possible cause of death was not disclosed.
Goyal went missing in late September after camping in the park between Sept. 28 and Sept. 30.
His vehicle, which “appeared to have been swept off the roadway” was found on Oct. 2 off Box Canyon Road between Interstate 10 and Painted Canyon Road near Mecca, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrew Nielsen.
Goyal’s empty, damaged silver Honda may have been caught up in a significant Sept. 30 storm that struck the area, according to investigators.
A “massive” four-day search involving more than 200 rescue personnel followed the car’s discovery. While items related to the vehicle were located throughout Box Canyon during the search, Goyal was not located and the search was scaled back on Oct. 6.
Goyal is listed as an attorney with El Centro-based law firm Plourd & Breeze on the firm’s website, and Goyal’s Linkedin page indicates that he worked at the firm as an associate attorney since April. He also previously worked with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, New York Attorney General’s Office, Somerset County Public Defender’s Office in New Jersey and the Federal Defenders of San Diego, according to the website.