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Bodies in California desert locked in embrace may be missing hikers

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JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.  — Authorities say two adult bodies were locked in an embrace when they were discovered in Joshua Tree National Park, near the area where a missing Southern California couple vanished while hiking three months ago.

Jodi Miller, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, said Tuesday that officials have yet to identify the remains found over the weekend in the desert park. Miller says the bodies were embracing when searchers came upon them.

Gilbert Orbeso, who was with the search party when the discovery was made, told KESQ-TV that they are his 21-year-old son, Joseph Orbeso, and Joseph's 20-year-old girlfriend, Rachel Nguyen.

The couple was reported missing July 28, after they failed to check out of their accommodations near the park.

The bodies will be officially identified pending autopsies by the coroner’s office, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

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