JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (CBS) — Two people found dead in the Riverside County portion of Joshua Tree National Park were identified Wednesday as European tourists.
The bodies of music executive Augustinus Van Hove, 44, of the Netherlands, and his girlfriend, Helena Nuellett, 38, of Germany were discovered near Black Eagle Mine Road on Monday, Riverside County sheriff’s Capt. Raymond Gregory said Wednesday.
The sheriff’s department is investigating how and when they died, he said.
Van Hove and Nuellett stayed in the Coachella Valley the previous night and were heading to Arizona in a rental car, Gregory said.
“Evidence indicates they entered the park shortly before noon on the day they were found,” he said.
Two park visitors told authorities they found a dead man along Black Eagle Mine Road around 6:50 p.m., Monday, sheriff’s Lt. Terrence Tingle said. The man’s body was on the edge of the road about two miles east of Pinto Basin Road, a major park thoroughfare, he said.
A few hours later, deputies found a woman’s body along the same road, about a mile east of the man, Tingle said.
The rental car was found abandoned on that road about five miles east of the woman, “in an area generally deemed impassable to passenger vehicles,” Gregory said.
Anyone with information about the bodies is urged to call Investigator Prezell Burgie at (760) 863-8945 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Indio Station at (760) 863-8990.
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