30-year-old Lauren Cho Found Dead

by Aleena Imran

Sad news today as human remains found in southern California has been identified as 30-year-old Lauren Cho. Cho, a New Jersey native, was reported missing on June 28th, when she left a rental home in the Yucca Valley; her remains were found on October 9th. The remains were found when a search and recuse team searched the area looking for Cho; she was found in rugged terrain in an open area of the Yucca Valley.


The manner of death and cause is pending toxicology reports, as stated by the San Bernadino County Coroner’s Division in a press release on Thursday. Cho was reportedly on a cross-country trip and stayed with friends at an Airbnb home rental in the Yucca Valley, about 30 miles north of Palm Springs. Her ex-boyfriend reported her missing just a few hours after she left the rental home. He indicated to them that “she was suffering from mental distress.” Her friends said she was “upset and presumably walked away, leaving behind her personal belongings behind.”

Earlier this summer, the search for Lauren Cho began. Planes flew overhead, searching the mountain range for evidence, while dog parties did the same on the ground. Volunteers and friends posted missing person flyers and photos all over the area.


A friend, Jeff Frost, had this to say, “We have gone thousands of miles and tirelessly went to gas stations and pasted up flyers in the low desert, the high desert.” He added, “We went out to San Diego because she said in the week before she disappeared that she just wanted to go to the beach.” Lauren Cho’s disappearance added to the public scrutiny that the Gabby Petito case received. This scrutiny is because law enforcement agencies used extensive resources to search for Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie.


Petito, a 22-year-old woman, went missing in September after embarking on a cross-country van trip with her fiancé Laundrie. The case captured America’s attention, with the most following every piece of evidence online and on social media. Cho’s family released a statement in mid-September to illustrate the difference in the cases.


“We realize that on the surface, the public information for both cases share some similarities. We understand the frustration many of you have expressed about how and why certain cases receive national coverage. Ultimately, these two cases are NOT the same, and the differences run deeper than what meets the public eye.”


Cho is survived by her family, who describe her as a “talented musician, an incredible baker, a hilarious and loyal friend, a strangely intuitive gift giver, and probably the coolest sister one could hope for.”


Her sister wrote the following on Facebook after her remains were positively identified: “I have been the luckiest to have had thirty years of the best company.” She added, “My family extends their thanks to all those who have waited with us, stood with us, cried with us, and hoped with us these past several months.”


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