Car Found Off Steep Cliff Possibly Belongs to Missing Couple

'It's hard to stay hopeful,' said the missing woman's sister.

Investigators are attempting to determine whether a car found over the side of Pacific Coast Highway in central California belongs to a couple who disappeared on a holiday road trip to Big Sur.

A body found at the site, along with a dead dog, was identified Wednesday as that of the missing woman -- Olivia Hannah Gonzalez, 20. 

The car, which matches the description of the North Hollywood couple's, was discovered Tuesday at the bottom of a steep cliff above the ocean. The tan sedan was spotted 325 feet down a cliff off Highway 1 at Ragged Point in northern San Luis Obispo County.

Though authorities notified the family of the missing couple of the discovery, they could not yet confirm the license plate matched the missing couple's car. Authorities will retrieve the car once bad weather conditions clear up.

A dive team was sent to the location Wednesday morning.

The search for Gonzalez and Brian Fernandez, 21, began after the couple departed for a holiday road trip Dec. 23 with their dogs and did not return by Christmas as planned, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Vanessa Guzman, Gonzalez's sister, got anxious and drove up to Big Sur to try to find the couple.

"Right now my family and I are just anxious," Guzman said through tears. "We wanted closure, but not like this."

Police circulated photos of the couple hoping someone might spot them. 

Gonzalez was described as 5-feet 6-inches tall, 120 pounds and with blonde hair and brown eyes. Fernandez was described as 5-feet 8-inches tall, 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

The car they were traveling in was a tan 2002 Honda Civic four-door sedan, California license plate number 5VUD295.

"I'm praying for the best and that this isn't the vehicle," Guzman said. "But at this time, it's hard to stay hopeful."

Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800 and ask for Detective Palmer. After-hours or weekend calls should be directed to 877-LAPD-24-7.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd and Hetty Chang contributed to this report.

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