Chelsea Grimm Disappearance: Missing Photographer in Arizona Still Not Found

By Kieran Burt
Published: January 26, 2024
Chelsea Grimm Disappearance: Missing Photographer in Arizona Still Not Found
(L–R) Janet and Stephen Grimm with their daughter Chelsea Grimm | Image via 12news

On October 4, 2023, Stephen and Janet Grimm, the parents of Chelsea Grimm, a 32-year-old woman from San Diego, California, reported their daughter as missing to the Phoenix Police Department after they hadn’t had any contact with her for several days. Chelsea was due to drive up to Connecticut from San Diego for a wedding, but after making it as far as Arizona she decided that it was too far. 

Instead of going straight back home, Chelsea stayed in Arizona to work on an art project, visited memorials, and camped in the state. It’s here that her parents lost contact with her, and Chelsea was only seen by a couple of locals before seemingly vanishing. Her whereabouts are still unknown, even several months after her disappearance. 

Chelsea Grimm’s Disappearance Case

The case began when Chelsea made plans to attend a wedding back in her parents’ state of Connecticut. While she initially attempted to fly the 2,860 miles, when she realized that she couldn’t bring Roxy with her on the flight she decided that she would drive the entire way. She let her parents know that she was going to undertake this mammoth journey and told them that she might spend a couple of nights in a hotel, but depending on how things went, she packed her tent and a sleeping bag.  

However, when Chelsea arrived in Arizona on September 27, she found that driving across the country was too much for her. Her parents offered to try and help her find a flight to get her home and suggested she could leave her car with a friend in the city of Phoenix. Chelsea seemingly rejected these options, however, and decided not to travel the rest of the way to the wedding but instead do an art project to document the ‘lost and forgotten’ people of the U.S.

Steve Fischer, a Missing Person Private Investigator, reported that she was seen on the same day at a motel in Seligman where she tried to book a room. He also mentions Chelsea was described as confused and disoriented when she tried to pay for it using Euros instead of dollars. 

Speaking to NewsNation, Stephen said Chelsea changed plans a lot. “This wasn’t the first time she ever changed a plan, for sure.”

Chelsea planned to meet with a friend in Arizona for lunch on September, 28, but canceled it. A police officer found her crying in distress the following evening while parked near a war memorial in Williams County, but in a filmed exchange she said, “I just was doing a photo shoot of the lost soldiers and got a little emotional, so I was crying before I got back on the road.” The officer gave her the names of some places where Chelsea could safely camp for the night and wouldn’t be harassed. 

The last person to see Chelsea was a woodcutter just outside of Ashfork on September 30, and Stephen explained that the cutter didn’t think Chelsea was in any kind of distress, though he did offer his help. After this, nothing was seen of Chelsea. Her car was found on October 5 by hunters in Kaibab National Forest, a day after her parents reported her missing to the Phoenix Police Department. 

Stephen remains hopeful she will be found. “There is a chance she got a ride out of there.”

Chelsea Grimm Search Update

It has been nearly five months since Chelsea was reported missing, but she hasn’t been found. No evidence has emerged that would suggest foul play is involved in her disappearance. When police found Chelsea’s car, they noted that her wallet, cellphone, and bearded dragon were missing from the vehicle, but some clothes and a camera were left in the car. 

The car was locked when it was found, and there were no signs of a struggle. There hasn’t been any activity on Chelsea’s phone records, bank accounts, or social media accounts since she disappeared. Her parents hired a private investigator to help the authorities find their daughter.


what on earth happened to chelsea grimm? #truecrime #truecrimetok #truecrimetiktok #truecrimetiktoks #crimetok #crimetiktok #crimestory #truecrimecommunity #truecrimeanytime

? original sound – Charley Bourne True Crime

Who is Chelsea Grimm?

Chelsea Grimm was a 32-year-old photographer born on March 22, 1991, to her parents Stephen and Janet Grimm. She’s originally from Stamford, Connecticut but has been across the United States, moving to New York to go to Pace University to study Psychology.

In 2019, she graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Social Work and took up the role of a 12th Grade Social Worker for the New York City Department of Education. In 2020, Chelsea moved across the country to the beachfront neighborhood of Ocean Beach in San Diego, California, where she’s a licensed Associate Clinical Social Worker. 

Chelsea would express a love for photography, art, and animals in her spare time. She had a particular fondness for her pet bearded dragon called Roxy, who she loved to bring everywhere she went. 

Where was Chelsea Grimm’s car found?

Chelsea’s car, a white 2019 Ford Escape SUV, was found abandoned with two flat tires by hunters in the middle of Forest Service Road 6 in Kaibab National Forest. The forest is just over 20 miles northeast of Ash Fork in Arizona.