2 bodies found in crashed SUV identified as teens who went missing in Angeles National Forest

Local news

Officials on Monday identified the two bodies found in a crashed vehicle earlier this month in the Angeles National Forest as two missing teenagers from Apple Valley.

Sophia Edwards and Ethan Manzano, both 19, were last seen in a silver Isuzu Ascender traveling near the area of mile marker 51 of Angeles Crest Highway on July 1, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On July 6, an SUV matching the description of the teenagers’ vehicle was spotted hundreds of feet down the cliff from mile marker 71 of the Angeles Crest Highway.

A volunteer with a search and rescue team put together by the missing teens’ families discovered the wreckage using a drone, a California Highway Patrol Officer told KTLA.

Two people were found dead in the wreckage, adding to suspicions that it may be Edwards and Manzano, who had vanished a week earlier. 

On Monday, the coroner’s office confirmed the deaths of the two teenagers.

It’s unclear what caused the vehicle to plunge down the cliff.

A preliminary investigation found that the driver was heading east on the highway when he or she “either caused or allowed” the vehicle to veer to the left, where it hit a dirt berm and overturned several times down the steep mountainside, according to a CHP news release.

The crash remains under investigation and no further details were immediately available.

Anyone with information can contact the Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500. Those who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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