Lauren Cho remains identified by coroner, ending months-long search

·2 min read

The San Bernardino, California county coroner announced Thursday that human remains found in open desert near Yucca Valley are those of Lauren Cho, who has been missing since June.

Cho, 30, of New Jersey, was last seen on June 28, walking away from a residence she was staying at in the Yucca Valley, triggering a months-long search headed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

In July, search and rescue teams combed the unincorporated areas near the high desert town for Cho, while deputies executed a search warrant on the home where she was staying. Similiar searches were conducted in September, as the department urged anyone with leads to her whereabouts to come forward.

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Lauren Cho, a 30-year-old New Jersey resident, has been missing since June 28, when she left the residence where she was staying in Yucca Valley.
Lauren Cho, a 30-year-old New Jersey resident, has been missing since June 28, when she left the residence where she was staying in Yucca Valley.

Personnel with the department discovered human remains on Oct. 9, in an area described as "the rugged terrain of the open desert of Yucca Valley" in southern California, but did not provide more specific detail about the location or condition of the body.

The county's coroner division transported the remains for identification and announced they were Cho's on Thursday. The cause of death has yet to be released, the department said, pending a toxicology test.

The confirmation comes after the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito captured the nation's attention. The 22-year-old travel vlogger died by strangulation, according to a medical examiner in Wyoming. She was killed an estimated three to four weeks before her body was found last month.

Officials say that thousands of others need the same level of attention that Petito's death garnered. Many pointed to a trend known as "missing white women syndrome" and noted that missing people of color often do not receive the same public attention.

Follow Christopher Damien on Twitter: @chris_a_damien.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: California: Lauren Cho's remains identified in missing persons case

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