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Bodies found in Joshua Tree National Park may be missing Orange County couple

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Posted at 10:26 AM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 14:06:41-04

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS) - Two bodies discovered in Joshua Tree National Park may be an Orange County couple who disappeared in July after going hiking, according to media reports.

The bodies were discovered on the north side of the Maze Loop Trail in Joshua Tree, KESQ and ABC7 reported.

Rachel Nguyen, 21, of Westminster and 21-year-old Joseph Orbeso of Lakewood were last seen on July 27, according to authorities. They were reported missing the next day after they did not check out of their Airbnb rental.

According to Coachella Valley-based TV station KESQ, Gilbert Orbeso, the missing man's father, was with the Joshua Tree Search and Rescue team when the bodies were discovered and reportedly identified his son's remains.

Gilbert Orbeso said he found his son and Nguyen in an embrace after a trail of water bottles, clothing and food wrappers led them to the bodies, ABC 7 in Los Angeles reported.

Family members said the bodies were found not far from where the couple's belongings were located.

"We hope that they can rest in peace now," Gilbert Orbeso told KESQ. "I believed that I was going to find them. I didn't know when. But I had my answer today."

The bodies are being examined to confirm the identities.

Orbeso said he had a "sense of relief that we have found them after going a long time on these hikes."

"I feel that we have closure," he said. "And we know we found them. That was our main goal was to find them."