The remains, found in the San Bernardino County desert, have been confirmed to be that of a 30-year-old New Jersey resident who disappeared in the area earlier this year.
The San Bernardino County’s Coroner’s Division clearly identified the human remains as Lauren Cho. The cause and type of death are pending toxicological results, the agency said.
The remains were found in early October when the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department conducted an additional operation in the ongoing search for Cho, who was reported missing on June 28, 2021. The remains were found in a rugged stretch of desert east of Los Angeles in the Yucca Valley community, near where Cho disappeared.
Investigators said Cho left the house she was staying on June 28 at 5 p.m. on the 8600 block of Benmar Trail in the Yucca Valley, according to the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station, which was conducting the search.
Her picture was broadcast by the broadcaster when she was reported missing.
Several searches were carried out in the Yucca Valley, just outside Joshua Tree National Park.
Cho’s story attracted renewed interest during a debate on racial differences in reporting on missing persons, including Gabby Petito’s disappearance in late summer. Friends and relatives launched a Facebook page to raise awareness after Cho disappeared.
Cho lived in New Jersey but was traveling in California when she went missing.