Lauren Cho disappearance: Human remains found in Yucca Valley desert amid search for missing woman

Human remains have been discovered in the Yucca Valley desert, near Joshua Tree, two months after 30-year-old Lauren Cho disappeared in the area.

The unidentified human remains were located on Saturday, Oct 9, in the rugged terrain of the open desert, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Now the coroner’s office is working to identify the remains and determine a cause of death. Authorities say the identification process could take several weeks.


Cho was last seen on June 28 when she walked away from the rental property where she had been staying in the Yucca Valley. She was last seen around 5:10 p.m. near the home in the 8600 block of Benmar Trail, the sheriff's department said.

The sheriff's department said that they searched the area by air and on foot, with no signs of Cho.

In a statement to FOX News, the sheriff's department said that Cho had been staying at an Airbnb in Morongo Valley "with numerous other guests, including her former boyfriend."

"The investigation has been a priority for the department since Ms. Cho went missing," San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Mara Rodriguez said in the statement.

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Cho was "upset" and presumably "walked away from the resort leaving behind her personal belongings." Her former boyfriend reported her missing after three hours, explaining that she was suffering from mental distress.

Cho's 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.

Cho was described by the sheriff's department as an Asian American female with black hair and brown eyes, she stands 5 feet 3 inches tall and was last seen wearing a yellow T-shirt and jean shorts.


Anyone with information regarding the search for Cho was urged to contact Detective Edward Hernandez or Sergeant Justin Giles, Specialized Investigations Division, at 909-387-3589.

Additional details were not immediately available.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.