Missing El Centro man may have been swept away in flood

A lawyer who went missing in Joshua Tree National Park in September may have been the victim of a violent downpour that hit the region.

The vehicle of Ankit Goyal, 28, was found two days after he disappeared near Box Canyon in El Centro, according to the Desert Sun. Goyal had texted his father on September 30 that he was leaving Joshua Tree soon and to expect him home in about 2 hours.

The vehicle had significant damage when it was found by Caltrans employees and appeared to have been swept off the road, possibly by a storm that hit the area on the day Goyal was there.

“The vehicle appeared to have been swept off the roadway in the canyon, possibly during recent storms on September 30,” Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrew Nielsen told KESQ.

El Centro Police are investigating and conducted a large-scale involving 200 people search last week that turned up some items from the battered car. Anyone with info should call El Centro police at (760) 337-4525.