Southern California searchers found Lauren Cho’s body two months ago in Yucca Valley.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced Sunday that the human remains were found in rugged terrain in the open desert on Saturday. Now the coroner’s office is working to identify the remains and determine a cause of death.
Cho, a 30-year-old New Jersey resident who is known by the name “El,” has been missing since June 28 at approximately 5:10 p.m., “when she reportedly walked away from the residence where she was staying in the 8600 block of Benmar Trail” in Yucca Valley, according to the sheriff’s department.
The Specialized Investigations Division was brought in to assist with the Morongo Basin Station in the search for Cho. It includes the Homicide Detail, Crimes Against Children Detail and the Polygraph Detail, which investigate major crimes including homicides and suspicious deaths.
Continue reading:Specialized Investigations Division joined the search for Lauren Cho at Yucca Valley
The Sheriff’s Department flew fixed-wing planes to search remote terrain in the mountains near Benmar Trail on July 24. Investigators from Morongo Basin Station and Search and Rescue conducted a search warrant on the 8600 block in Benmar Trail. There, seven dogs searched the area where Cho was last seen and other areas for any evidence.
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Her case is one of many involving people of color that don’t get much public attention. Complaints about a phenomenon known as “missing white woman syndrome” soared during the search for Gabby Petito, a white 22-year-old whose body was found in Wyoming after she vanished during a cross-country trip with her boyfriend that she chronicled on social media.
According to the sheriff’s office, it could take many weeks for identification and no more information will be made public until these results are verified.
This report includes previous reporting from Desert Sun reporter Erin Rode.