Park hikers may have died in murder-suicide - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Park hikers may have died in murder-suicide

  • Fox 29 Daily HeadlinesMore>>

  • Trump asserts Russia not targeting US, contradicting intel

    Trump asserts Russia not targeting US, contradicting intel

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 12:31 AM EDT2018-07-18 04:31:41 GMT
    Wednesday, July 18 2018 6:19 PM EDT2018-07-18 22:19:52 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he meets with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Washington. Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsink...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he meets with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Washington. Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsink...

    Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern pushback from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. president sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error.

    More >>

    Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern pushback from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. president sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error.

    More >>
  • Marriott hotels eliminating plastic straws by 2019

    Marriott hotels eliminating plastic straws by 2019

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 12:25 AM EDT2018-07-18 04:25:22 GMT
    Wednesday, July 18 2018 10:47 AM EDT2018-07-18 14:47:09 GMT
    The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019. (Source: Pixabay, File)The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019. (Source: Pixabay, File)

    The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019.

    More >>

    The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019.

    More >>
  • Amazon's Prime Day runs into early snags

    Amazon's Prime Day runs into early snags

    Monday, July 16 2018 3:25 AM EDT2018-07-16 07:25:22 GMT
    Tuesday, July 17 2018 9:41 AM EDT2018-07-17 13:41:58 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File). FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, Myrtice Harris applies tape to a package before shipment at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. Amazon's Prime Day starts July 16, 2018, and will be six hours longer than...(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File). FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, Myrtice Harris applies tape to a package before shipment at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. Amazon's Prime Day starts July 16, 2018, and will be six hours longer than...

    This year's sales event, which starts Monday afternoon, will be six hours longer than last year's and will launch new products.

    More >>

    This year's sales event, which starts Monday afternoon, will be six hours longer than last year's and will launch new products.

    More >>

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Friends and relatives of a couple whose bodies were found in Joshua Tree National Park say they believe the two got lost while hiking in the sprawling desert park and struggled in the searing heat with little food or water before they died in a "sympathetic murder-suicide."

Rachel Nguyen, 20, and Joseph Orbeso, 22, had been missing for nearly three months after going for a hike in late July and failing to return to their bed-and-breakfast. Their disappearance launched an exhaustive search. Crews spent more than 2,100 hours scouring the rugged terrain before finding their bodies in a steep canyon on Oct. 15.

Autopsies found both had gunshot wounds and evidence at the scene led detectives to believe Orbeso shot Nguyen and then himself, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Friday. The stunning announcement came days after Orbeso's father, who was with searchers who made the discovery, said the bodies were locked in an embrace.

The Orange County Register reports there was evidence the pair had been battling the elements. The bodies were under a tree, with clothing covering their legs to protect them from the blazing sun. They appeared to have been rationing food and had no water.

Nguyen's family said investigators told them that based on the circumstances and positioning of the bodies, they believed the two died in a "sympathetic murder-suicide."

"We hold no grudges against Joseph or the Orbeso family," they said in a statement and offered their condolences.

"We thank God that we'll be able to give Rachel a proper burial and lay her to rest."

As for authorities, Orbeso's actions remained under investigation, though his motive may never be known.

"Since we don't have any evidence (note, message) to tell us why the shooting occurred, we are left to speculate," sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said. "Knowing that they rationed food, had no water and were seeking shade certainly sheds a different light on the apparent dire circumstances."

Orbeso and Nguyen had once dated and he took her to Joshua Tree to celebrate her birthday, his best friend Austin Young told the newspaper.

A gun found near the bodies was registered to Orbeso. Young said Orbeso worked as a security guard, and may have carried the gun to protect Nguyen.

"I think they got lost and were suffering in 100-degree heat," Young said.

"They had a choice of a slow and painful death or a quick death," he said. "And they made the choice of a quick death."

The Joshua Tree Search and Rescue team said on its Facebook page that it's easy to get lost in the vast park covering more than 1,200 square miles of the Mojave and Colorado deserts, 130 miles (209 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

"You can take a short hike and lose sight of the road, and, if you didn't pay attention to what the landmarks look like, in the opposite direction, you could start wandering," the team said.

Associated Press 2017

Powered by Frankly

1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.