Search Efforts Continue for Missing Woman in the Coachella Valley

Kamari Esquerra

It’s been almost three months since anyone has seen or heard from Lauren ‘El’ Cho, the 30-year-old New Jersey woman who was last seen in a remote area of Yucca Valley.

Cho was last seen on June 28 at approximately 5:10 p.m., when she reportedly walked away from the residence where she was staying in the 8600 block of Benmar Trail.

The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department announced on Tuesday, Sept. 21 that its Specialized Investigations Division will be assisting Morongo Basin Station Deputies in the search for Cho. The department is asking for the community’s help in finding Cho, who is 5’3, has black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a yellow T-shirt and jean shorts.

“We’re hoping that will jog somebody’s memory and provide more information for our investigators to follow up on,” said Gloria Huerta, Representative of San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department

Missing persons signs have been posted in the surrounding area of Yucca Valley, including Joshua Tree National Park, attracting the attention of local residents and tourists.

“I saw some information on Facebook about her being missing and then I saw a poster about her being missing over in the visitor center,” said Kelly Burlison, a Dallas resident. “I just hope they find her and are able to bring her home safely.”

Ground and aerial searched have been conducted since Cho’s disappearance. Ongoing search efforts continue with further operations planned as further leads are developed in the investigation.

“We would urge the community to keep their eyes and ears open,” said Huerta. “If they see something suspicious or they hear of anything- please call us. There’s no information that’s unimportant.”

Anyone with information regarding the search for Cho is urged to contact Detective Edward Hernandez or Sergeant Justin Giles, of the Specialized Investigations Division, at (909) 387-3589. You can report tips anonymously by contacting the We-Tip hotline at 800-78-CRIME (27463) or

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