News Release

Search Continues For Couple Missing in Joshua Tree National Park

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Date: August 7, 2017
Contact: George Land, 760-367-5507

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Twentynine Palms, California – Searchers having been looking for 10 days for a couple who disappeared in Joshua Tree National Park with few leads or traces. Rachel Nguyen and Joseph Orbeso entered the park at approximately 6:45am on Thursday, July 27 and have not been seen or heard from since. An extensive search has been going on in the park since July 28 which has included resources from the
National Park Service, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept., Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue, San Bernardino County Search and Rescue, the Bureau of Land Management, Orange County Sheriff’s Dept., San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept., California Highway Patrol, Riverside County Sheriff’s Dept., US Border Patrol, and the California Rescue Dog Association.

While resources have been scaled back, a special regional overhead team made up of investigators from Yosemite National Park and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park have arrived on scene as well as NPS drone specialists from the Grand Canyon. Canine teams from JOSAR are also continuing the search when the scorching temperatures will allow. Superintendent David Smith said, “Our search teams have put forth a tremendous effort for the rescue and recovery of these two young people. We can only begin to imagine just how difficult and painful this whole experience has been for the parents, family and friends of Joseph and Rachel.  It has deeply affected the men and women involved in this search. Although we have had to scale back the active rescue, we continue to dedicate park resources to finding them.”

The couple’s vehicle was found at the trailhead of a popular hiking trail known as the Maze Loop. Anyone who might have been hiking or stopping in the area and recall seeing a couple in their early twenties, or having other pertinent information about the two are asked to contact San Bernardino Dispatch at 909 383-5652.

Last updated: August 7, 2017

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Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


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