Missing Joshua Tree Hikers Died After Murder-Suicide Investigators Say

LAKEWOOD (CNS) - A Southland couple whose remains were found in Joshua Tree National Park after going missing in late July died from a murder- suicide, sheriff's officials said today.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department officially identified the remains that were found Sunday as Gilbert Orbeso, 22, of Lakewood, and Rachel Nguyen, 20, of Westminster. Authorities had earlier said both were 21.

``During autopsy, injuries consistent with a gunshot wound were located on both Nguyen and Orbeso,'' according to sheriff's officials. ``Based on evidence located at the scene, detectives believe Orbeso shot Nguyen, then shot himself. The investigation into Orbeso's actions remain under investigation.''

The couple's remains were found in an embrace in a remote part of the park near Maze Loop. The bodies were recovered Monday morning.

The pair had last been seen July 27.

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