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Young Couple Missing for Days Found Dead in California Forest

Bodies of Paul Stockwell, Ria Williams discovered near Big Bear Lake
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2020 9:45 AM CST
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Big Bear Lake in California.   (Getty Images/Richard Par)

(Newser) – The bodies of a young couple who hadn't been seen since Jan. 29 have been found near a Southern California hiking trail. Officials say the bodies of Paul Arthur Stockwell Jr., 29, and his girlfriend, Ria Gabriella Williams, 27, were found around 1:30pm Monday. Deputies who were looking for the two had discovered Williams' vehicle earlier Monday in the parking lot off of the Cougar Crest Trail in Fawnskin, near Big Bear Lake, per a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department release cited by KTLA. The bodies were found about a half-mile into the forest.

Williams was last seen on Jan. 29 while in the Big Bear area with Stockwell; a co-worker reported her missing when she didn't come to work two days later. Stockwell's father reported him missing that same day. The Los Angeles Times notes it's not clear how long Williams' car had been sitting in the parking lot. Per People, the Cougar Crest Trail is considered a "moderate" hike, with the first mile deemed a "gentle uphill climb." Autopsies are being conducted, and homicide detectives are investigating. (Read more missing persons stories.)

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