20 and 22 years. Woman and man. They disappeared last July during a tour of the Joshua Tree National Park in southern California. Last week the rescue teams found them dead, hugged, under a tree and with gunshot wounds. A pistol, registered to the man's name, lay a few feet from the bodies. The authorities handle a case of murder and subsequent suicide as a hypothesis.
Rachel Nguyen and Joseph Orbeo started a trip almost three months ago through the Joshua Tree National Park. They were celebrating the young lady's birthday. After sleeping in a rural hotel, the couple embarked on a tour and never came back. That same day, a park guard found his empty car near one of the trails.
The disappearance impelled a large search device that included canine units, helicopters, and dozens of researchers on foot. Orbeo's father also joined the assignments. Finally, on October 15th, a park ranger alerted the presence of two bodies at the bottom of a ravine under a tree.
"Based on the evidence collected at the scene, the detectives believe that Orbeo shot Nguyen and then shot himself," said the Sheriff of the area in a statement. The authorities are unaware of the motive behind the actions of Orbeo. "We can only speculate." "We don't have enough evidence to determine the reason for the gunshots," said police spokesman Cindy Bachman.
According to the first information, the bodies of the young men were partially covered by their clothes. "They had put their clothes to cover their lower limbs and be protected from the sun." They seemed to have been rationing their food and had no water, "added the authorities in an advance with more information. The area where they died is extremely dry and during the summer time can reach high levels of heat. The path where their bodies appeared is considered a "moderate" level.
A close friend of Orbeo, Austin Young, defended on Facebook that "Joseph had not maliciously killed Rachel." He only brought them out of misery. They were probably lost and suffering in temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius of heat. "They chose a quick death rather than a slow and painful one." Young also claimed that his friend had taken his gun to protect himself in case of being attacked by animals.
The girl's uncle explained to the daily Desert Sun that the family believed that Nguyen had been harmed and seemed to have been in a stressful situation; His shirt was tied around his head. Orbeo had taken care of him and then shot to relieve her. "The authorities explained to us that based on the placement of the bodies and the evidence, it seemed like a death-suicide of solidarity." "We have no resentment toward Orbeo and his family," said Son Nguyen.
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