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Audio released in disappearance of Dia Abrams

Private investigator interviewed co-trustee of Abrams' estate in November 2020.

SAN DIEGO — An undercover audio recording has revealed new information in the mysterious disappearance of former La Jolla resident, Dia Abrams.

Abrams went missing in 2020 from her 117-acre ranch near Idyllwild and she still has not been found.

A private investigator hired by Abrams' son secretly recorded the audio during his investigation of the unsolved case.

The recording is from late November 2020 and sounds as if it was recorded in a public area, during an outdoor lunch meeting.

The private investigator interviewed Diana Fedder, a friend of Abrams who lived in the area, for more than four and a half hours, approximately five months after Abrams went missing.

Fedder, 54, is a retired Secret Service special agent.

“Now, you have a law enforcement background, right?,” the private investigator asked.

“Yes, 30 years,” responded Fedder.

At the time of the interview, Fedder was co-managing Abrams' Bonita Vista Ranch in Mountain Center, along with Keith Harper, 72, the missing woman's self-proclaimed fiancé.

The relationship was on the rocks and close to ending, according to Fedder.

“The week she disappeared, she was planning on breaking up with him, 100 percent,” Fedder told the private investigator.

Abrams went missing from the ranch on the afternoon of Saturday, June 6, 2020, leaving her purse, cell phone, and vehicle behind.

Two weeks prior to her disappearance, she put her properties into a trust, naming Harper as first trustee and Fedder as second.

“So, we did the power of attorney. We did her trust. We put all her properties in a trust,” said Fedder.

"What was the purpose of the power of attorney?” asked the private investigator.

“She wanted to redo the will because the old will had the kids in it.  She wanted to remove her kids,” responded Fedder.

Harper continues live on the ranch and manage Abrams properties in her absence.

“He’s trying to find a way to expand everything on there,” said Fedder.

“What does he want to... what's his ultimate goal?” asked the private investigator.

“Oh, he wants to make an RV park,” said Fedder.

At one point, Fedder talks about finding a gun at the ranch, inside Abrams’ truck, days after Abrams went missing.

“After they finished searching on Wednesday, I guess is the day that they stopped searching, I went that night.  Ronnie's wife and I, we went to the truck,” said Fedder.

Fedder told the private investigator she was looking inside the truck for dog food and medication for Abrams’ dog “Rudy” when she found the gun inside the vehicle.  She said it had a pearl handle.

“It was a revolver, right?” asked the private investigator.

“Yes, it was a revolver,” Fedder said. 

“Yeah, I think that was a .38,” said the private investigator.

“Yeah, and it was small,” said Fedder.

“So, I took it. I had no problem with it. I took it. I put it my safe. I told Harper that I took it,” Fedder said, adding that she kept the handgun for two months before giving it to Harper.

“So, you gave it back to Harper?” asked the private investigator.

“Yes, he asked for it, so I gave it back to him.  I told the police that I gave it back to him,” she said.

It remains unclear what happened to the gun.

The audio recording has been turned over to the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, according to Abrams’ son, Clinton Abrams.

Diana Fedder currently lives in Georgia, according to property records.  She did not respond CBS 8’s request for comment.

Keith Harper also did not respond to a message seeking comment.

CBS 8 previously has reported that another woman, Jodi Newkirk, died on the same ranch on December 23, 2021.  Keith Harper called police just after sunset to report Newkirk, 46, had died in a rollover ATV accident on the property.

Newkirk’s autopsy and toxicology reports have been completed, CBS 8 has confirmed with the Riverside County Coroner.

However, homicide detectives have sealed the records pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation and, as a result, the autopsy has not been released to the family of the victim.

A spokesperson emailed CBS 8 the following statement:

"In the case of a homicide, the law enforcement agency may request that Sheriff-Coroner reports are not released based on the possibility of jeopardizing the investigation. In this case, law enforcement shall provide a written request based upon Ca. Govt. Code 6254(f). Upon receipt of the request, no information contained within Sheriff-Coroner reports shall be released without the consent of that law enforcement agency. This includes cause of death. If a cause has been determined, the death certificate shall go out as “pending”. Prior to the release of any homicide reports, the Sheriff-Coroner’s record staff shall check with the respective law enforcement agency. At the time of autopsy, a representative from the investigating law enforcement agency will be presented with the 'Confidentiality of Information Form.'"

WATCH RELATED: Where is Dia Abrams?  Search launched for woman missing from her ranch near Idyllwild  (Feb. 2021).

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