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Bodies Found in Joshua Tree Believed to Be Missing Hikers

Hikers found two bodies embracing while passing through a remote region of Joshua Tree National Park earlier this week. Reports have indicated the bodies may belong to a couple who were reported missing in the park after they failed to check out of their rented Airbnb on July 28, 2017.

20-year-old Rachel Nguyen and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Joseph Orbeso entered Joshua Tree around 6:45 a.m. on July 27th. A ping from Orbeso's cellphone was recorded about 4:00 p.m. that same day from within the park. After the couple did not check out of their accommodations, a search discovered their vehicle near the Maze Loop trail. Authorities believe the couple went for a hike.

Hundreds of people joined together in a search and rescue effort, including family and friends as well as law enforcement. The couple's families offered a $10,000 for information that would lead to their safe return. One of the rescuer and several canine unites had to be airlifted out of the park after the extreme heat began to take its toll. On the day the couple disappeared, temperatures were recorded at over 100 degrees. There is no water in the park.

Authorities have yet to formally identify the remains as belonging to Orbeso and Nguyen. Gilbert Orbeso, Joseph's father, was part of the search team that discovered the body. He feels confident that the remains belong to his son and his girlfriend. The coroner's office is continuing its investigation to formally identify the remains.

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