Los Angeles couple disappears after taking desert road trip

Posted at 4:47 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 19:53:19-05
SAN DIEGO -- Family and friends are scouring miles of desert looking for a Los Angeles couple who went camping east of San Diego and never returned home.
Aaron Morganstein, 33, and Mariya Mitkova, 27, left their home around 3 p.m. Saturday for a road trip.
"The couple are frequent campers and were believed to have been headed to Joshua Tree National Park or the Imperial Sand Dunes," according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.
According to a social media post by someone identified as a friend of the couple, a signal from at least one of their cell phones pinged off a tower near Interstate 10 in Rancho Mirage, and one of their credit cards was used in the Cabazon area.
A friend reported speaking to the couple about 6 p.m. Saturday, according to a Reddit post. The pair said they were at an In-N-Out Burger and were heading to Imperial Sand Dunes before a scheduled rendezvous with that friend at the Jumbo Rocks Campground at Joshua Tree, according to the Reddit post.
When Morganstein and Mitkova did not show up for work as planned on Monday, those who know them became concerned, especially since Morganstein is a photographer who missed an important photo shoot.
"They are extremely responsible - that's what's alarming about this," Gonzales said. "They would have called in for this."
"I just fear something happened in the park -- a broken leg, or they fell off a cliff. That's what goes through my head," said Briana Gonzales, a friend.
Morganstein is white, 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs about 180 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. Mitkova is white, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 130 pounds, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.
They were traveling in a 2002 dark blue Subaru Outback with California license number 6PRH231.
Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to call (213) 996-1800 or (877) LAPD-247.