The search for Lauren Cho is ongoing, and deputies have been granted a search warrant to further pursue developing leads

As search efforts continue for Lauren Cho, deputies will organize future operations during the ongoing investigation. Details will be added when they are received and vetted.

According to Hi-Desert Star,

YUCCA VALLEY — Detectives with seven dogs on Saturday, July 31, 2021, searched the vacation rental property where 30-year-old Lauren Cho went missing.

Detectives from the Morongo Basin station and search and rescue members served their search warrant at 6a Saturday at a property called The Whole in the 8600 block of Benmar Trail, Sgt. Eric Smoot said. He described the property as a collection of Airbnbs.

Seven dogs searched the last place where Cho was seen and surrounding areas for evidence, according to the sheriff’s station.

“We sought a search warrant due to the property owner not being present and multiple people on site living at the location,” Smoot said via email.

“This is the second search warrant served here. The additional searches we have conducted are based upon follow-up of investigative leads and resources available,” he said, adding the weather has not been favoring searchers.

A plane with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department searched the hilly terrain near the scene on July 24, according to the sheriff’s station. Investigators will hold more operations in the future as they develop leads, a news release states.

Cho has been missing since about 5:10 p.m. June 28, when she reportedly walked away from the Benmar Trail property, where she was living.

According to property records, The Whole is owned by Tao Ruspoli, a filmmaker and musician who owns vacation rentals and is part of the community of artists and other bohemians living in Bombay Beach and the Hi-Desert. Cho was also part of that community; she had moved from New Jersey to Bombay Beach last year.

She and her friend Cory Orell were staying at Ruspoli’s Yucca Valley property while Cho worked as a private chef.

According to a sheriff’s report, Orell called for help at 5:13 p.m. June 28 and told a dispatch operator that Cho walked into the hills between Yucca Valley and Morongo Valley. Orell tried to find her and then called their circle of friends for help. He told the sheriff’s station she didn’t take her phone, water or food with her.

After searching on the ground and from the air, the Sheriff’s Department called off the active search on July 2.

Anyone with information about Lauren Cho is asked to call detective Shaunna Ables at the sheriff’s station at (760) 366-4175.

Missing NPF is following this case for further developments.


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