Last Thursday, the California Highway Patrol in Truckee, California, posted the above photo to its Facebook page.
“Oh the things we find playing hide and seek in the winter!” they wrote without further explanation, blocking out the Jeep’s license plate with an image of a toy police car.
The photo might have remained just that, a curious police Facebook object, injected with some classic police humor, except, on Sunday, the blog Truck Yeah! did some important reporting: they contacted the California Highway Patrol for the rest of the story.
The Jeep, it turns out, was empty, and found under 20 feet of snow near Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada, a victim of the region’s extreme winters. (As Truck Yeah! notes, the Jeep was possibly left behind by other, stronger Jeeps, which ate still other, more nutritious Jeeps to survive.)
Police, for their part, theorize that it had been abandoned by its (human) owners weeks ago. It was discovered only after a snow remover ran into the Jeep’s rear, causing the damage you see above.
Local law enforcement said it will likely remain there until the snow thaws, something to gawk at for passersby. And, perhaps, just another cautionary tale.