The search for Lauren Cho, a 30-year-old New Jersey woman who went missing in Southern California’s Yucca Valley at the tail end of June, has garnered fresh interest after the widespread coverage and unfortunate outcome of the Gabby Petito case.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday it would join the search for Cho, saying the department would be chasing down leads from family and friends.
Investigators said Cho walked away from the home where she was staying in the 8600 block of Benmar Trail, Yucca Valley at 5 p.m. on June 28, according to the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Station, the station leading the search.
Her image was circulated by the station when she was reported missing, but she has not yet been found.
She was last seen wearing a yellow T-shirt and jean shorts.
Cho lives in New Jersey, but was traveling in California when she went missing.
Details surrounding her disappearance have been scant.
On July 24, the sheriff’s department conducted an aerial search in mountainous areas near the property.
On July 31, Morongo Basin Station and Search and Rescue members executed a search warrant at the property in Yucca Valley where she was last seen, and canines were used to hunt for evidence. It isn’t clear what that search yielded.
Social media users have been quick to point out a perceived lack of urgency in the search for Cho versus the swift action of law enforcement and media attention in the Gabby Petito case. Petito, 22, was discovered dead in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park after a lengthy search and widespread media coverage.
Her death was ruled a homicide. Her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, is a person of interest, and hasn’t been seen since Sept. 14 after he told his family he was going hiking in the Carlton Reserve in Florida. Petito was a travel blogger documenting their trip. Utah police are conducting an internal probe into how officers handled an incident that captured Petito and her fiancé on camera after a witness called police on them as they argued.
Anyone with information about Lauren Cho is asked to contact Detective Edward Hernandez or Sergeant Justin Giles, Specialized Investigations Division, at (909) 387-3589. Anyone who wishes to remind remain anonymous can contact the We-Tip hotline at 800-78-CRIME (27463) or www.wetip.com.