And while details surrounding the missing girl's case have become unclear over time, one thing remains certain. The smiling teenager with brown hair and dimples has not been seen since June 26, 1987.
Elaina is classified as "endangered missing." In 2011, an age-progression image was created to illustrate how she may look at 37.
Here's what we know, provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the cold case web site The Charley Project:
Elaina is Native American. When she vanished, she was 5-feet 5-inches tall, and weighed 110 pounds. She was wearing a blue sweatshirt and sweatpants, and a gold chain the day she disappeared. She has small scars on her upper lip and forearm.
Do you know Elaina? Help us fill in the blanks. Tell us about her.
Do you have information about what happened to her? No detail is too small. Please call the San Diego County Sheriff's Department or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and help authorities bring her home:
—San Diego County Sheriff's Department at 858-565-5200
—National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678 (800-THE-LOST)
About this series:
Scores of cases throughout San Diego County go unsolved by local law enforcement investigators each year. A teen thought to be a runaway has still not come home. A dangerous parolee goes missing. A parent in a custody dispute kidnaps the children. A family member who is homeless and mentally ill disappears off the street. A loved one is murdered and there are few clues or no suspect.
No matter what the circumstances, police and relatives continue to search for those who are missing and wanted. They want the son, sister, or husband home. They want justice for the victims of crimes. They want the bad guys behind bars.
Each day in October, our Patch sites will feature a different person who is missing and wanted in San Diego County. Look at their pictures. Have you seen them? Do you have information that might help them be located, or identify a suspect?
Each profile will have a phone number for you to call to provide information. Let’s help investigators close these cases!