"Based on evidence located at the scene, detectives believe Orbeso shot Nguyen, then shot himself", San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department told KTLA.
Two long-missing hikers were found with gunshot wounds in Joshua Tree National Park and are believed to have died in a murder-suicide, authorities said.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said Friday that the bodies found Sunday were identified as 20-year-old Rachel Nguyen and 22-year-old Joseph Orbeso, both of Orange County.
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The pair had been initially reported missing on July 28 when deputies from the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Station were contacted by the owner of a local bed and breakfast who told deputies that he believed his guests - Nguyen and Orbeso - went hiking in the park that morning but never returned to check out, the statement said. A subsequent nine-day search involving 250 search and rescue members, aircraft teams and canine units failed to find the hikers.
On Sunday, nearly three months after the Orange County couple was reported missing, a park ranger found the bodies inside "a steep canyon to the far north of the Maze Loop Trailhead", according to the sheriff's statement. The bodies were recovered a day after the discovery.
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He said that they found clothing near a wash, and a trail of water bottles and food wrappers led them to the bodies, which were embracing one another.
"The way he was found beside Rachel holding her as they were seeking shade under the brush says everything you need to know about him as a man and as a human being", Mr Orbeso said. "Hope they can rest in peace now", Gilbert Orbeso said.
Nguyen and Orbeso, both from Orange County, Calif., had set out for a hike at Joshua Tree National Park east of Los Angeles on July 27, when temperatures in the park hit 100 degrees. "That was our main goal, was to find them".
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