A missing couple was found dead this week off a hiking trail deep inside a California forest, according to authorities and a new report.
Investigators found the bodies of Paul Arthur Stockwell Jr., 29, of Big Bear and Ria Gabriella Williams, 27, of Santa Ana, around 1.30pm on Monday almost a kilometre into the forest near the Cougar Crest Trail, close to Big Bear Lake, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and ABC 7.
Nearly 11 hours earlier, deputies had spotted Ms Williams’ car in a parking area near the trail, police said.
Mr Stockwell and Ms Williams were last seen together in Big Bear on January 29, authorities said.
Two days later, a co-worker reported Ms Williams missing when she did not report to work, police said. Mr Stockwell had also been reported missing by his father.
“Neither of the missing person reports indicated any suspicious circumstances or reason to suspect foul play,” the police statement said.
But due to the circumstances, the case is being investigated as a homicide, authorities said.
Autopsies will determine the cause of death for both Stockwell and Williams.