Antiques dealer Deanna Brooks, 70, got in her 2003 PT Cruiser Thursday, Aug. 23, heading for her mother's 90th birthday party in San Diego.
She talked to her son and seemed in good spirits, excited for the visit with relatives. She packed up the car, filled it with enough gas to get 300 miles and left between 5:30 and 7 p.m.
She was never seen again.
"Some missing persons don't want to be found," said her son, Taylor Flynn, 49, who publishes the monthly newspaper, The Tahoe Mountain News. "Some just take off on the spur of the moment and go to Burning Man. This is Deanna Brooks, a grandmother of eight. Once people realize who she is, they get it. This is serious."
Brooks uses a walker to get around, so she wouldn't buy gas with cash because she wouldn't want to take the walker out of her car to go inside a gas station office. Her credit cards haven't been used, so her family figures she is within 300 miles of Santa Cruz. She didn't like the curves on Highway 1, so they figure she took 101.
She didn't have a cell phone, having chosen to cut the expense a couple of months ago. She has diabetes, which sometimes left her a bit confused, but from the talks she had with family members before she left, that didn't appear to be an issue.
Her other son, Stirling Flynn, 50, rented a Specialized helicopter Saturday for $265 and searched some of the areas she might have been, with no luck.
"We know where she's not," he said. "We have no idea where she is."
About 30 people gathered at at 2360 Soquel Dr. Saturday to help call attention to the search. Santa Cruz Police Lt. Larry Richard talked to them, telling them that all law enforcement agencies in the state have her license plate 5EEV387 as a priority and if the car is spotted, Santa Cruz Police will know it.