Thirty members of Lyon County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue crew searched unsuccessfully for any sign of Bertha Anguiano on Saturday.
They combed the sagebrush between 10 Mile Hill and Stagecoach Hill - two bald rises which bookend a straight stretch of Highway 50 East.
"We're searching 40 to 60 yards off the road anywhere you could dump a body without being too easily seen," said Capt. Jeff Page. "We're working all the frontage roads, Jeep trails - that kind of stuff.
"We're working on the premise that it's a possibility she's dead. It's the method we chose to use to search. If she was alive I doubt she would be out in the boonies in Lyon County. She's not going to be alive out wandering the desert at this point in time."
Anguiano, 33, was last seen Nov. 10, when her bloodied, 3-year-old son, Andrew, was found wandering near a Dayton grocery store clutching a dollar. The boy told authorities he saw "Juan" hit his mother with a stick and put her under a blanket in his truck.
Blood found in the sport utility vehicle driven by Israel "Juan Carlos" Tellez may possibly be Anguiano's, Sheriff Kenny Furlong confirmed Monday.
Tellez and an acquaintance, Joaquin Barcelo, were arrested Nov. 21 in Salt Lake County after Tellez allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband as police approached him. An officer in an unmarked car hit him. A hearing is set for Jan. 6 on those charges. In two interviews with Carson City detectives, Tellez has denied any knowledge of Anguiano's whereabouts.
Searchers in yellow jackets spread out to look for her among the sagebrush. They parked their white mobile command center bus on the north side of the highway on Stagecoach Hill. Eight members of the Lyon County Amateur Radio Emergency Services group helped keep them in contact.
One group searched along Fort Churchill Road while others searched near the crossroads of Highway 95A and Highway 50. Off-road vehicles were used to search the flat, dusty playa.
"They're about the only vehicle we can get out there on those alkali lakes without getting buried," Page said.
There wasn't a particular lead that guided searches to the spot, according to Division Vice Commander Patty Polish.
"We don't really have any promising leads, we're just trying to systematically search everything we can," she said.
At one point searchers found a black plastic bag with intestines inside.
"We sent a deputy up there and it turned out someone had gutted deer," Page said.
He said they were mainly doing the search to support the Carson City Sheriff's Department. "We want to assist them - to make sure she's not out here."
Five wild horses - four brown and one white - grazed in the sage as the group reconnoitered for a pizza lunch. Then they headed east to search around the shores of Lake Lahontan.
Authorities linked Tellez to the married mother of three because they allegedly were having an affair. Forensic investigators can only say the blood matches a female relative of the child because they don't have samples from Anguiano to compare it to, Furlong said. The boy has no other female relatives in the area.
Contact Karl Horeis at email@example.com or call 881-1219.