Southern California authorities are searching for the missing woman in New Jersey Lauren Cho said Sunday that they had found human remains near her last known abode in the high desert.
No connection has been established for Cho, 30, known by friends and family as Lauren “El” Cho. It could take weeks to identify the remains of the death government in San Bernardino County, sheriff’s officials said.
“The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department conducted an additional search and rescue operation in the ongoing search for Lauren Cho,” a statement said. “During the search, unidentified human remains were located in the rugged terrain of the open desert of the Yucca Valley.”
The location, which largely matches the area where Cho was last seen, includes a property that had been searched in July.
Cho was last seen on June 28 shortly after 5 p.m., when she may have walked away from a short-term rental she used while traveling with friends and an ex-boyfriend, sheriff’s officials said.
About a week later, relatives of Cho activated a Facebook page called “Missing Person: Lauren ‘El’ Cho” to raise awareness about her disappearance. The case of Cho, who is Korean-American, and other colored women seemed to get a boost in attention amid criticism of the news media’s intense focus on the early summer disappearance and death of Gabby Petito, who was white.
Petito’s remains were found near Grand Teton National Park, and those discovered in the search for Cho were found near Joshua Tree National Park.
“I want to use the attention now and just flow through,” one of Cho’s friends tweeted on September 20, after Petito’s case became a dominant national story.
About a month after Cho’s disappearance, authorities conducted an air search in the area near her short-term rental, and a few days later, on-site deputies searched the property where Cho had been staying.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department put its specialized investigation department on the case Sept. 21.
Family members behind the Facebook page described Cho’s personality and spirit:
“El is many things … a talented musician, an incredible baker, a funny and loyal friend, a strangely intuitive gift giver and probably the coolest sister one could hope for. But this is where El really shines: as an aunt. It “The love she has for her disorder is unsurpassed. Even among the family, the consensus is that her nibble is the person El loves most in this world.”
Austin Mullen the contribution.