JOSHUA TREE, Calif. - The families of 2 missing hikers in Joshua Tree National Park are now offering a $10,000 reward.
Rachel Nguyen (20) and Joseph Orbeso (21) have been missing for more than four weeks. Their families held a press conference Saturday with updates on the search.
"If Joseph and Rachel can see or hear this message, we want them to know, we love them very much. If Joseph and Rachel are held against their will and are captive in any way, we please ask you to release them," said Gilbert Orbeso, Joseph Orbeso's father.
The hikers were last traced by a cell phone ping July 27 from inside Joshua Tree National Park. The car they were driving was found near the Maze Loop trail head, where the two were believed to be hiking last.
David Smith is a park ranger at Joshua Tree National Park. He says Maze Loop is a popular trail and can become a confusing one.
"The Maze Loop is called the Maze Loop because it is like a maze. There are inviting side canyons to explore. As you're hiking there are boulder formations that you can go through while you're inside the maze," Smith said.
Dave Pylman is the co-captain for Joshua Tree Search and Rescue. His team has loged thousands of hours searching the terrain.
Smith says they're scaling back on search resources but have not ruled out the possibility of the two being outside the park.
"Yes, we are very hopeful that Joseph and Rachel have left the park on their own accord and are still alive outside the park. That is why we're here. Our families are asking and reaching out to the public for help," Orbeso said.
Anyone with any information on what happened to the pair is asked to call the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department 909-383-5652