Human Remains Found in Calif. Desert Belong to Missing N.J. Woman Lauren Cho, Authorities Confirm

Police said that human remains found earlier this month belong to Lauren Cho, who went missing in June, although a cause of death has yet to be determined

Lauren Cho
Lauren Cho. Photo: Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department

Authorities have confirmed that human remains found earlier this month near where Lauren Cho was last seen in California belong to the New Jersey woman, who was last seen in late June.

"The San Bernardino County Coroner's Division has positively identified the human remains to be Lauren Cho, 30-year-old resident of New Jersey," authorities wrote in a statement released on Thursday.

"The cause and manner of death is pending toxicology results," they added, noting that additional information will not be released until those results are available.

Cho's family has not yet released a statement regarding the news, but they shared a link to authorities' discovery on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Cho.

Cho was last seen around 5:10 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, when she was walking away from the Yucca Valley home where she had been staying, according to the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department.

Her friend Cody Orell previously told the Hi-Desert Star that Cho planned on meeting someone that Sunday, but that she "wasn't saying who."

"I didn't pry into it then, but of course now I wish…." said Orell.

Lauren Cho
Lauren Cho. Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department

On Oct. 10, less than a month after California authorities said they were ramping up the search for Cho, they announced the discovery of "unidentified human remains" in "the rugged terrain of the open desert of Yucca Valley."

At the time, Cho's sister told CNN that their "family is just holding our collective breaths."

"We so badly desire answers, but already feel the heartbreak of what the answer could be," she added.

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Cho quit her job as a music teacher in New Jersey to move out west to "follow her dreams" — and was in the process of converting a school bus into a food truck, Orell previously told the Hi-Desert Star.

"She was in the middle of working on her bus," Orell said. "The day she went missing she texted me earlier asking for some help on it."

Per CNN, Cho's ex-boyfriend, who "indicated she was suffering from mental distress," reported her missing about three hours after her disappearance.

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