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Remains of missing woman found in Mountain Center

The remains of a 73-year-old woman who went missing in July 2020 were found in Mountain Center, officials announced.

On July 7, 2020 Rosario Garcia, 73, left her home in Hemet to possibly travel to a family member's home in Hesperia. Garcia never arrived and police were notified.

Garcia's vehicle was found abandoned two days later on the 71000 block of Highway 74 near the Pinyon Pines area.

The Desert Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (DSSAR), Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU), bloodhounds and Riverside County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit led a search of the area but were not able to find Garcia.

Another search of the mountainous area was conducted on August 8, but those efforts were also unsuccessful.

Authorities conducted another search in the Mountain Center area on February 5, 2021, after receiving information information that possible human remains were found.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department announced on Thursday that those remains were consistent with an adult female. Items belonging to Garcia were also found.

The Coroner’s Bureau was able to obtain a positive identification that the remains belonged to Garcia.

Authorities said there is no evidence of foul play.

Anyone with information regarding this incident can contact Inv. Negrete at the Hemet Station at (951) 791-3400.

Anyone wishing to contact or support the volunteers from the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit can contact them by email at info@rmru.org, Desert Sheriff Search and Rescue can be contacted at (760) 836-1600, and the Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation can be contacted by email at info@fofound.org.

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Jesus Reyes

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