Bodies of two missing hikers found in Joshua Tree National Park

Bodies of two missing hikers found in Joshua Tree National Park

The father of a missing California man says he believes the bodies of his son and his son's girlfriend have been found in Joshua Tree National Park, near the area where the couple vanished while hiking almost three months ago.

The bodies are expected to be recovered Monday, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Joseph Orbeso, 21, and Rachel Nguyen, 20, vanished in July in triple-digit heat at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.

Joseph Orbeso's father, Gilbert, was with Joshua Tree Search and Rescue when the bodies were found, KESQ reports.

Four weeks into an extensive search - including canine and overhead rescue teams - efforts were scaled back to limited continuous search mode due to lack of resources.

Sheriff's dispatchers received a call at 1:50 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, from a park ranger that two deceased victims had been found, Jodi Miller, sheriff's spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

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Joshua Tree, where temperatures topped 100 degrees this summer, was among the Washington Post's listing of 10 most deadly national parks in 2014.

Authorities said a ping from Orbeso's cellphone was recorded in the park a day before the couple was reported missing.

Searchers found their vehicle at the head of the Maze Loop trail but few other clues. The size of the search waned, but smaller teams continued to focus on finding the missing couple.

On Sunday, he found pieces of clothing, water bottles and food wrappers in a wash two miles from the Maze Loop. "That was our main goal was to find them".

Despite no formal confirmation, Orbeso told the outlet, "I feel that we have closure and we know we found them".

Family members said the bodies were found not far from where the couple's belongings were located.

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