Remains identified as missing Westminster alumna

By Shaun Chornobroff

The remains of a woman found on Oct. 9 in Yucca Valley, California were confirmed on Oct. 28 to be Lauren Cho 13’, a Westminster Choir College alumna, exactly four months after she disappeared, according to a release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff ’s Department.

The identification of 30-year-old Cho concludes a search that started on June 28 when Cho walked out of the California residence she was staying at the time without her cell phone.

The remains could not be confirmed to be Cho until the San Bernardino County’s Coroner Division went through its identification process.

Cho’s case came to social media prominence in the aftermath of the Gabby Petito case, a similar missing person’s case that gained national attention from the media. Social media users quickly spotlighted a lack of attention on Cho’s case leading to her search garnering national headlines.

Cho was known to her close family and friends as “El.” A Facebook page ran by Cho’s sister posted a message of gratitude to everyone who supported the Cho family during the search.

“My family extends their thanks to all those who have waited with us, stood with us, cried with us, and hoped with us these past several months. The depths of our collective sorrow feels endless as grief demands space for its accompanying emptiness. I ask that you kindly respect the grieving process of the family and close friends who have known and loved El for years,” a portion of the post read.

Cho’s “cause and manner of death is pending toxicology results,” the press release from the sheriff ’s department said. “No further information will be released on this case until such time toxicology results are available and new information is discovered as a result.”

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