A Californian young couple of hikers were found dead on Sunday after being missing for three months in the Joshua Tree National Park. The latest autopsy revealed that Joseph Orbeso (22) shot his girlfriend, Rachel Nguyen (20), and then committed suicide. Police and family of Nguyen believe Orbeso didn’t kill her with evil intentions. Instead, he died in a “sympathetic murder-suicide.”

After they went hiking for her birthday and went missing on July 28, police finally found the remains of both girlfriend and boyfriend, sheriff’s officials reported. The searchers were joined by Orbeso’s father, who said that the bodies were locked in an embrace.

Missing hikers Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park murder suicide, Joseph Orbeso
Joseph Orbeso reportedly shot his girlfriend and then committed suicide. Image credit: National Park Service via AP

The bodies, whose legs were covered to protect from the sun, were found under the shadow of a tall tree. The Orange County Register reported that they seemed to be rationing food, although they had no water.

On Friday, police showed the results of the autopsy and assured both died due to a gunshot.

According to sheriff’s department spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman, officials believe it was Orbeso who shot first and then turned the gun on himself before pulling the trigger for the second time. She said that there isn’t anything to make officials think that Orbeso “wanted to harm her,” or that there was a “plan for something like this.”

After this, the Joshua Tree Search and Rescue team explained on Facebook that people can easily get lost in the park, which covers more than 1,200 square miles of the Mojave and Colorado deserts, and 130 miles east of Los Angeles.

Both died because of the fear of not being found

Although the authorities and families believe they died because they thought they were never going to be found, none of them left anything to explain which were the causes to commit both murder and suicide. Bachman said that “we’ll probably never know why it happened,” what motived them to die. There is “nothing left behind to tell us why.”

“Since we don’t have any evidence (note, message) to tell us why the shooting occurred, we are left to speculate,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said. “Knowing that they rationed food, had no water and were seeking shade certainly sheds a different light on the apparent dire circumstances.”

Missing hikers Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park murder suicide, Joseph Orbeso
Joshua Tree National Parks attracts dozens of hikers each day. Image credit: REI Adventures

The family of Nguyen said on Saturday that it’s not Orbeso’s fault they went missing or died. They’re glad police finally were able to find the body.

“We hold no grudges against Joseph or the Orbeso family. We thank God that we’ll be able to give Rachel a proper burial and lay her to rest,” the Nguyen family told San Francisco Gate in a statement.

The best friend of the boyfriend said that the couple had once dated. He agrees that he took her to the canyon to celebrate her birthday.

Referring to the gun found near the bodies, Young said that Orbeso worked as a security guard and that he might have had it with him to protect his girlfriend.

Young believes that the couple was “suffering in  a 100-degree heat.” There were three options to end this, but to be rescued was not into their choices. According to Young, they had a choice of “a slow and painful death or a quick death.” They chose the latter.

Source: Daily Mail