Hikers may have died in ‘sympathetic murder-suicide,’ relatives say

The family of one from the hikers whose bodies were present in Joshua Tree National Park previously this week say investigators have informed them that they believe the few died in a “sympathetic murder-suicide” right after becoming lost in the sprawling wilderness with little food or drinking water.

Relatives of 20-year-old Rachel Nguyen said investigators had based their own belief on the circumstances and placing of the bodies.

The bodies of Nguyen and Joseph Orbeso, 22, had been found in a steep canyon Weekend. They had been missing for nearly three months right after going for a hike in late July plus failing to return to their bed-and-breakfast.

Autopsies discovered both had gunshot wounds plus evidence at the scene led investigators to believe Orbeso shot Nguyen and himself, the San Bernardino Region Sheriff’s Department said in a declaration Friday. The stunning announcement arrived days after Orbeso’s father, who had been with searchers who made the particular discovery, said the bodies had been locked in an embrace.

“We hold simply no grudges against Joseph or the Orbeso family, ” Nguyen’s family stated in a statement. “We thank The almighty that we’ll be able to give Rachel a proper burial and lay the girl to rest. ”

The Orange County Sign-up reports there was proof the pair had been battling the weather. The bodies were found within tree, with clothing covering their own legs to protect them from the blasting sun. They appeared to have been rationing food and had no water.

Orbeso plus Nguyen had once dated and took her to Joshua Forest to celebrate her birthday, their best friend Austin Young told the particular newspaper.

A gun found near the bodies has been registered to Orbeso. Young stated Orbeso worked as a security safeguard, and may have carried the weapon to protect Nguyen.

“I think they obtained lost and were suffering within 100-degree heat, ” Young mentioned.

“They had a choice of a slow plus painful death or a quick loss of life, ” he said. “And they will made the choice of a quick demise. ”

Authorities continued to investigate Orbeso’s activities, though his motive may by no means be known.

“Since we don’t have any proof (note, message) to tell us the reason why the shooting occurred, we are still left to speculate, ” sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said. “Knowing that they rationed food, had no water plus were seeking shade certainly outdoor sheds a different light on the apparent serious circumstances. ”

The Joshua Tree Lookup and Rescue team said upon its Facebook page that it’s simple to get lost in the vast park addressing more than 1, 200 square mls of the Mojave and Colorado deserts, 130 miles east of La.

“You can take a short hike and shed sight of the road, and, in case you didn’t pay attention to what the landmarks seem like, in the opposite direction, you could start roaming, ” the team said.

The particular Associated Press contributed to this survey.