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Remains found in California desert identified as missing 30-year-old Lauren Cho

(NEW YORK) — Remains found in a Southern California desert have been identified as 30-year-old Lauren “El” Cho, a New Jersey woman who was missing for months, authorities said.

Her cause and manner of death are pending toxicology results, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

The remains were recovered on Oct. 9 during a search for Cho “in the rugged terrain of the open desert of Yucca Valley,” the sheriff’s department said. Cho was reported missing on June 28 “when she reportedly walked away” from the Yucca Valley home where she was staying, the sheriff’s department said.

The search for Cho was launched this summer and included planes searching the remote mountain terrain and canines scouring the area for evidence, the sheriff’s office said.

Cho’s family described her as “a talented musician, an incredible baker, a hilarious and loyal friend, a strangely intuitive gift giver, and probably the coolest sister one could hope for.”

Hours after Cho’s remains were positively identified, her sister wrote Thursday on Facebook: “I have been the luckiest to have had thirty years of the best company.”

“My family extends their thanks to all those who have waited with us, stood with us, cried with us, and hoped with us these past several months,” she wrote.

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