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Missing hiking couple's bodies found 'in embrace'

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Photo credit: GoFundMe

From Cosmopolitan UK

The bodies of two people thought to be a couple who went missing back in July have been discovered this week at the Joshua Tree National Park in California, USA.

Although the identities have not yet been officially confirmed, the bodies - which are reported to have been found 'locked in an embrace', indicating they perished together - are thought to be those of 20-year-old Rachel Nguyen and 21-year-old Joseph Orbeso, who disappeared while on a hiking trip in the park on July 28th.

Fox News claims the couple was reported missing after they failed to check out of the Airbnb they were renting close to the National Park, which is famed for its mesmerising desert landscapes and the iconic spiked trees that grow in the area. The car Rachel and Joseph had been driving was located by police near a popular hiking trail called the Maze Loop shortly after the alarm was raised.

top of da world

Posted by Rachel Nguyen on Saturday, April 13, 2013

But despite this, and with the help of rescue crews, no trace of the pair had been found until this week. A fundraising page had been set up to help find them, and Joseph's father, Gilbert Orbeso, took part in yet another search operation over the weekend. This time, the group stumbled upon what they believe to be the remains of the young couple.

According to Mr Orbeso, the couple were discovered locked in an embrace with one another, suggesting they had supported one another until the end. "I believed I was going to find them. I didn't know when, but I had my answer today," Joseph's father told network KABC.

While it's not entirely clear exactly what happened to the couple to lead to this tragic eventuality, authorities believe they got lost on the hike. George Land, a spokesman for Joshua Tree National Park, told the Orange County Register the tracks that were found indicated Rachel and Joshua were indeed lost.

"The way the tracks were picked up indicate these people could be walking in circles, which is not uncommon when people are lost," he said.

The couple was described by friends as adept at hiking and outdoors activities. The Mirror reported one of Joseph's friends, Austin Young, said he was "in very good shape" and "a survivalist". But nevertheless, weather conditions are known to become very extreme in the area, and the pair may have found themselves without enough supplies to keep them going.

Tragically, the couple had gone on the trip to celebrate Rachel's birthday. "I hope that they can rest in peace now," Joseph's father, Gilbert, said.

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