2 bodies found in Joshua Tree National Park

2 bodies found in Joshua Tree National Park”

San Bernardino County sheriff's Search and Rescue personnel will attempt Monday morning, October 16, to recover the bodies found Sunday afternoon inside Joshua Tree National Park believed to those of two missing Orange County hikers who went missing in the park in late July.

Joshua Tree National Park, in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, covers 792,000 acres, an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island, according to the National Park Service.

Sheriff's dispatchers received a call at 1:50 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, from a park ranger that two deceased victims had been found, Jodi Miller, sheriff's spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

The bodies are being examined to confirm the identities. The bodies are believed to be Joseph Orbeso, 21, of Lakewood and Rachel Nguyen, 20, of Westminster, sources told ABC affiliate KESQ.

Searchers found their vehicle at the head of the Maze Loop trail but few other clues.

Authorities said a ping from Orbeso's cellphone was recorded in the park a day before the couple was reported missing.

Joseph Orbeso's father, Gilbert Orbeso, was with searchers when the bodies were discovered, according to local TV station KESQ.

Even after official search efforts ended, Gilbert Orbeso continued looking for the couple on weekends with the assistance of friends and volunteers, KABC reported.

Temperatures in the park had topped 100 degrees and it was unclear whether the couple had water and supplies with them.

But Gilbert Orbeso is already certain they are his son and his son's girlfriend.

Orbeso said he had a "sense of relief that we have found them after going a long time on these hikes".

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