Murder-Suicide of O.C. Couple Found in Joshua Tree National Park Brings Grief, Questions From Family and Friends

Rachel Nguyen, right, and Joseph Orbeso are seen in photos posted to a fundraising page.

Rachel Nguyen, right, and Joseph Orbeso are seen in photos posted to a fundraising page.

Family and friends said they were stunned by revelations that a couple who disappeared in Joshua Tree National Park nearly three months ago died in a murder-suicide.

Joseph Orbeso, 22, shot and killed his girlfriend, Rachel Nguyen, 20, and then turned the gun on himself, according to a release Friday from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Morongo Basin station.

Investigators recovered a handgun at the scene, San Bernardino sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said.

Orbeso and Nguyen were reported missing July 28, after a bed-and-breakfast owner in the Morongo Basin told the Sheriff’s Department they may have gone hiking in the park that morning.

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