- Associated Press - Sunday, October 22, 2017

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 and struggled in the searing heat with little food or water before they died in a “sympathetic murder-suicide.”

Rachel Nguyen and Joseph Orbeso 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 scoured the rugged terrain before finding their bodies in a steep canyon on Oct. 15.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said autopsies found both had gunshot wounds and evidence at the scene led detectives to believe Orbeso shot Nguyen and then himself.

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.

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