May 10, 2017.
Audrey Moran, 26, told her family she was going to pick up Jonathan Reynoso, 28, after an outing with friends in Brawley.
Once she stopped answering her phone, her family became concerned and called the police.
That’s when this nearly 3 year investigation began.
Two days after the couple was reported missing, police located Audrey’s gray SUV abandoned on the westbound shoulder of the I-10 freeway in Beaumont with no signs of foul play.
For year, family, friends and the community were all wondering, where are Jonathan and Audrey?
In 2020 after several homes and desert areas in the Coachella Valley were searched, Riverside County Sheriff’s Office announced the case was no longer a missing person’s case; it was a murder investigation.
“Any killing is bad,” Sheriff Chad Bianco said. “But, this was not a particularly easy murder if there is one. This was very bad.”
That year, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced six arrests, all in relation to the murders.
After hundreds of interviews, dozens of search warrants, and waiting on DNA test results of skeletal remains found in an undisclosed location in the valley, authorities confirmed the remains were a match for Jonathan and Audrey.
“Our investigators that worked on this worked around the clock,” Sheriff Bianco explained. “I mean, this is something that bothers them too. They want this finished and they want it completed in a successful way for justice for the family.”
One suspect pleaded guilty to two counts of willfully and unlawfully having knowledge of the murders and concealing two of the suspects, but after being sentenced to two years in prison, he was released due to previous time served.
Now, the five other suspects accused in the murders of Jonathan and Audrey met Wednesday for a hearing, making this the first time all have appeared in court together.
With this first step in court brings one more day closer to justice.
“To ensure that the Moran and the Reynoso family obtain the justice that they so well deserve,” Lieutenant Walter Mendez said.