Human remains found in California desert in search of missing NJ woman
Human remains were found in a California desert on Saturday during a search for a missing New Jersey woman who went missing on June 28.
Lauren Cho, 30, of Flemington, New Jersey, was in Yucca Valley, where she was last seen, with her friends and her ex-boyfriend.
Cho’s case began to gain media attention following the disappearance of another missing young woman, Gabby Petito, whose remains were found a few weeks ago in Wyoming.
The remains found in California currently have no definite connection to Cho, but coroners are identifying the body, which could take weeks.
The area where the body was found is also close to where Cho was last seen before her disappearance. The cause of death has not been revealed.
Human remains were found in the Yucca Valley, near where New Jersey woman Lauren Cho went missing on June 28
Cho was touring the area with her ex-boyfriend and friends before stepping out of their Airbnb resort and was not seen afterwards
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department discovered the body while helping the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department search for Cho.
“The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has conducted additional search and rescue in the ongoing search for Lauren Cho,” the department said in a statement.
“During the search, unidentified human remains were located on the rugged terrain of the open desert of the Yucca Valley.”
Search and rescue teams began searching for Cho in late July using dogs, helicopters and a number of volunteers on foot.
She was reportedly last seen stepping out of her Airbnb on the Benmar Trail around 5 p.m. on June 28 without her belongings.
The Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station began searching for Cho in the area where she was last seen using resources such as K-9s.
The unidentified remains were found on the Benmar Trail in the Yucca Valley, near where Cho was last seen at her Airbnb complex.
Cho’s friends continued their own research and posted flyers and social media posts.
“We drove thousands of miles and tirelessly went to gas stations and stuck flyers in the low desert, the high desert,” his friend Jeff Frost said. CNN.
“We went to San Diego because she said the week before she disappeared that she just wanted to go to the beach.”
Cho was a former music teacher at a high school in Irvington and was also a section head in a New Jersey church choir, according to the Hi-Star of the Desert.
She had planned to move out west with her former boyfriend Chris Orell and lead a more “creative” life where she planned to start her own food truck.
The Yucca Valley is located in the Mojave Desert, which spans approximately 500,000 square miles with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees during the day. However, it is not uncommon for people to go missing in the vast desert.
Cho’s family started posting about her disappearance about a week after her last visit.
Cho’s family set up a Facebook page about a week after her disappearance titled Missing Person: Lauren ‘El’ Cho to raise awareness of her disappearance.
“El is a lot… a talented musician, an amazing baker, a hilarious and loyal friend, a weirdly intuitive gift giver and probably the coolest sister you could hope for,” her family wrote.
“But that’s where El really shines: as an aunt. The love she has for her snacking is unmatched. Even within the family, the consensus is that his snack is the person he loves the most in the world.
Lauren ‘El’ Cho’s family have set up a Facebook page in hopes of raising awareness of her disappearance. Her family said she was “a lot of stuff” but really shines as an aunt
Her family have also posted photos of Cho’s “unique” tattoos in hopes of helping her identify.
The family also hoped to bring more attention to Cho’s case after Gabby Petito’s high-profile research.
“We fully appreciate the love that continues to be shown to El,” his family later added to Facebook on September 18.
“We deeply sympathize with (Gabby Petito’s) family and hope that our two cases result in a positive resolution. Anyone know something. About El, Gabby … ‘
Petito’s remains were found on September 19 at Spread Creek Campground in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, at the eastern end of Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
She was reported missing more than a week earlier on September 11 after being last seen on August 24.
Her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, is a person of interest in the case as he returned to their Florida home without her on September 1 and refused to speak to authorities.
Laundrie has been missing since September 17 and an arrest warrant was issued for him after it was discovered he had fraudulently used Petito’s credit card after his death.
Research teams are still actively looking for a laundromat on the Carlton Preserve in Florida.
Cho’s disappearance has come to light following the case of missing van girl Gabby Petito whose body was found on September 19 in Wyoming more than a week after her disappearance.
Many were angry at the lack of media attention Cho received as she was Korean American and Petito was white.
David Robinson, the father of 24-year-old geologist Daniel Robinson, spoke to CNB on the need to focus on all cases of missing persons, regardless of race.
Robinson’s son went missing a few months ago while in Buckeye, Arizona for his job. Police found his car in a ravine, but no sign of Daniel or his body.
“Even though I really hate to say this, sometimes I think race is a factor,” said Robinson. “They think it’s not an emergency for us.