Sad story, but the usual one. Wrong vehicle, wrong place, ill-prepared.
report from Riverside Sheriff office
The man and woman found dead in Joshua Tree National Park on Monday, August 22, 2011, have been positively identified as Augustinus Van Hove, age 44 years, of the Netherlands, and Helena Nuellett, age 38 years, of Germany.
Investigators have determined the pair were tourists who stayed in the Coachella Valley the previous night and were en route in a rental car to Arizona. Evidence indicates they entered the park shortly before noon on the day they were found. The rental car was found abandoned in an area generally deemed impassable to passenger vehicles. Although the investigation continues and toxicology results are not yet in, at this point there is no sign of obvious injury to either person and the evidence indicates the pair both succumbed due to exposure to the elements.
The investigation is ongoing and no other details are available for release. We ask that anyone with additional information about this matter call Investigator Prezell Burgie at (760) 863-8945, or the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Indio Station at (760) 863-8990, or by emailing us at IndioStation@riversidesheriff.org
We are investigating the death of two people found in the Riverside County portion of Joshua Tree National Park.
About 6:48 PM on Monday, 8/22/11, a couple visiting the national park notified us they found a dead man along the Black Eagle Mine Road. Arriving emergency personnel found the dead man on the edge of the Mine road over a mile and one-half east of Pinto Basin Road, a major thoroughfare for the park.
A few hours later, deputies found the body of a female along the same road, about a mile east of the man. Deputies next found a car stranded on the same road about five miles east of the woman. Investigation shows the man and woman may have been travelling together and may have been using the car we found stranded.
Riverside County firefighter/paramedics assisted us as did a US National Park Service Ranger, Sheriff's Coroner's Bureau personnel, and evidence technicians. The investigation is continuing.
We ask that anyone with information about this matter call Investigator Prezell Burgie at (760) 863-8945, or the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Indio Station at (760) 863-8990, or by emailing us at IndioStation@riversidesheriff.org