UPDATED 3:51 PM PT – Monday, October 11, 2021
Investigators recovered human remains in a Southern California desert amid the search for a woman who went missing this past summer. On Saturday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department reported remains were found in the rugged terrain of the open desert of Yucca Valley.
The remains have not been identified, although they were located in the area where 3o-year-old Lauren Cho was last seen. According to police, Cho went missing in June after walking away from an Airbnb she was staying at with friends and her ex-boyfriend.
Cho was reportedly upset and suffering from mental distress before disappearing.
“The fact that she walked away without anything, that’s really a mystery,” explained Callahan Walsh, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “Now, I know there were some talks of mental illness or self harm that were thrown in the way, but normally a person who is looking to self harm or god forbid commit suicide is not going to do it by walking in the desert. That is not a way that most people try to commit suicide. That is something that would take a long time.”
Update: Human remains located in Yucca Valley; identification process underway https://t.co/C1lzaWgdTr
— San Bernardino County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) October 10, 2021
Family and friends remember Cho as a loving person, talented musician and incredible baker.
“The pandemic was wearing on her and she had this opportunity to change scenery in her life and go after a dream of cooking,” Len Gherardi expressed. “She is super caring, very loving and just a really loyal and good friend.”
Meanwhile, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said it may take several weeks before the identity and cause of death of the remains found are revealed.