HOUSTON -- Monday evening, the family of a missing blogger, who vanished one week ago on a cross country journey that brought her through Houston, says they have confirmed sightings from both Austin and Carlsbad, New Mexico that she is alive.
Victoria Moon Erickson, 31, vanished on January 21.
According to her father in Atlanta, Moon Erickson, who turns 32 on Tuesday, showed up at a friend's home in Austin on Monday. The friend, apparently unaware that her family was desperately searching for her, gave the woman a ride west toward El Paso.
William Erickson says that when his daughter was asked about the family and belongings she had left behind that she reportedly said "that stuff belongs to Vicky and I'm not Vicky anymore." She claimed she needed to get to California.
Victoria Moon Erickson left her car, computer, cell phone, and beloved dog "Jet" in Houston at Pat Greer's Kitchen, the vegan and raw food business where she briefly worked and stayed in a second floor room. The friend from Austin reportedly dropped off Moon Erickson at her request at a truck stop somewhere on the journey west.
A truck driver also told the family that late Monday, he picked up a hitch hiker matching Vicky's description in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
The family, obviously concerned about the woman's state of mind, is trying to coordinate with Houston police and authorities in New Mexico to see if they can find her.
Moon Erickson's twin sister, Cat, arrived in Houston earlier on Monday to help with search. One week after an online blogger and vegan chef disappeared in Houston her twin sister has traveled here to join in the search.
“There's something that tells you, like, be ready for the worst,” her sister Cat Moon Erickson told KHOU 11 News in a Monday interview on the steps of Pat Greer’s Kitchen, a business that markets vegan cuisine to stores and restaurants. Victoria Moon Erickson’s car is still parked in the back parking lot while the family waits for Houston police to search for any potential forensic clues.
"My sister is unpredictable,” Cat Moon Erickson said. "She is an adventurer and very strong and a survivor.”
But she says this 5-foot, 1’inch and 100 pound survivor also met a man online on her stop in Kansas City on a trip that also took her through Dallas and Austin.
"One of our last conversations, literally one of the last, was I told her is ‘I think you're online too much.’ So I may have helped plant a seed that says go off the grid,” said Cat.
Family and friends say Victoria did suffer lingering effects of a traumatic brain injury and may still be suffering from PTSD-like symptoms from an abusive childhood. Pat Greer says Moon Erickson did suffer from an emotional outburst and brief emotional breakdown a few days before she disappeared. But her sister doesn’t believe “Vickie” would harm herself.
"It's definitely not like her to even be out of communication, verbal communication with me,” said Cat.
"That's the only present I want. Then I could just tell everyone that she's OK. I feel that she is but it's only a feeling at this point,” Cat said referencing the twin connection she’s always felt she shares with her sister. "The first thing I would tell her is that I love her. I always love her. I never want to judge her again."
Erickson’s family initially took to the social media site Reddit to plead for help here in Houston. Since that posting, and the initial broadcast report on KHOU-TV and KHOU.com, her story has been broadcast across the country.
Anyone with information that could help with this case is asked to call Houston police at 713-884-3131.