Human remains have been discovered in California near the location where a New Jersey woman vanished in June. 31-year-old Lauren Cho went missing in the Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County after being last seen on the evening of June 28. Cho had only recently relocated to the west coast at the time of her disappearance. The identification of the body will likely be a lengthy process according to authorities and no cause of death has been announced.
Unidentified remains discovered
In reality Cho has been the subject of an extensive search by both her family and the authorities, though rugged and sparsely populated terrain in which the remains were discovered has made it a difficult process.
Cho reportedly wandered away from her friends at the locations where she was staying on June 28 in a somewhat agitated state.
A friend stated that she had plans to meet someone, though she did not provide any details. She did not take food, water, or any of her belongings, including her phone.
She was described as appearing to be in a state of “mental distress” at the time of her departure. A thorough search started quickly after she was reported missing but found no trace.
A continued search of the desert on October 9 came across human remains lying in the open. The remains were quickly transported to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Division.
Cause of death unknown
Authorities warn that identifying the remains could take weeks and that determining a cause of death might be just as difficult.
This is presumably due to the state of decomposition in which the body was discovered. This would be expected if the remains belong to Cho, who has been missing for several months now.
Authorities did not speculate about anyone else who the remains could belong to and given the location it is highly likely that it is Lauren Cho.
There is no indication that investigators suspect foul play at this point. The Cho family has pointed out that the case is not the perfect parallel to the Petito case that certain media has made it out to be.
There have been attempts to contrast the two cases due to the fact that both Cho and Petito vanished after a trip to the western states with their romantic partners.
Cho’s ex-boyfriend reported her as missing only three hours after she was last seen and there is no indication that he is believed to be involved in her disappearance.