Then, of course, there’s the fact that Laundrie, although already a person of interest in the case, was able to escape his home and, as of this writing, is escaping a search. massive police force for almost a week.
Related: Gabby Told Her Best Friend Brian Would Hear Voices Sometimes
But another major criticism concerns the media’s interest in the case, particularly in relation to the missing women of color. MSNBC‘s Joy Reid called it “missing white woman syndrome”:
Well, the answer actually has a name: Missing White Woman Syndrome, the term coined by the late and great Gwen Ifill to describe the media and public’s fascination with missing white women like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway. while ignoring cases involving people of color. . ”
It is certainly a fair observation. It doesn’t take much research to find out how many indigenous women have gone missing in the same area as Gabby, and their stories have never gone viral like this one.
But in our experience, the media is a reflection of the public interest – and this particular story has captured it. It’s a perfect storm: The victim was constantly posting on social media and YouTube until her disappearance, giving internet sleuths tons of information to follow. There’s an evolving narrative, natural villains, seemingly obvious investigative missteps. In other words, something to get angry about. Of course, it’s not fair to other victims, but people are really invested in this business.
Related: Missing Grad Student Jelani Day Confirmed Dead One Month After Missing
Well, now those looking for another missing young woman are trying to turn some of that national attention to a case they believe shares some interesting similarities.
“I hope this #GABBYPETITO tidal wave can be sustained for other victims. There are many more. Lauren Cho is missing. Please when you see missing people retweet and like it. You never know who he might be looking at… “
“I’m glad #gabbypetito got such good media coverage, but can we please save that same energy to miss #bipoc?” Let’s meet up with #LaurenCho Seen for the last time at 3 p.m. on Monday June 28, in the Morongo Valley. The last person to see her was her ex-boyfriend.
“Lauren Cho’s disappearance is a bit similar to that of #gabbypetito. why did they take Cody Orell’s word like that ?? he is clearly the prime suspect.
So who is Lauren Cho??
– hollyjolly_scrunchies (@hollyjollyscrun) September 19, 2021
The 30-year-old, nicknamed El by her friends, has also been lost in the wild, in this case in Yucca Flats in California. Like Gabby, she had moved away from her daily life, leaving her job as a high school music teacher to travel across the country with a boyfriend.
She met Cody Orell while still living in New Jersey and traveled with him on a converted tour bus to California. The two moved to a ghost town that became an artists’ commune called Bombay Beach, right by the Salton Sea.
Orell told au Hi-star of the desert:
“Lauren wanted a different life. She wanted to leave the East Coast and experience freedom. She quit her job and moved into the bus with me.
El would have liked to cook for everyone and turn an old school bus into a food truck. She was known to make a unique basil ice cream. She quickly found success and got a job this summer as a personal chef for a friend’s Airbnb between Yucca and Morongo Valley, outside of Joshua Tree National Park.
At one point, however, she and Orell broke up. And oddly, he was the last person to see her …
Related: Another Woman Claims She Picked Up Brian Laundrie While Hitchhiking
He told police he was on his bus on Sunday, June 28 at around 3 p.m. when El got angry and left for the desert with no phone, no water, and nothing. A few hours later, at 5:13 p.m., Orell reported her missing.
Speaking to Hi-star of the desert a few days later he explained:
“There was a 10 minute window over there and it evaporated… I looked for everything in the hills and no trace, nowhere. “
He was not the only one. Search and rescue teams scoured the area looking for Cho. Starting from where she was last seen, near Hoopa Road and Ben Mar Trail, the teams set out on foot, using drones, or even helicopters to watch. On July 31, a month after the initial report, a team of dogs were brought in to search the house she was staying in and its surrounding grounds. No trace was found.
Orell gave a possible lead, saying:
“On Sunday, she was going out to meet someone and not saying who. I didn’t insist on it at the time, but of course, now I wish… ”
Hmm. However, friends don’t believe the idea that she just left. Apparently she had a pet parakeet named Pork Chop that she loved and wouldn’t have given up on.
People are right when they point out the similarities in the cases. Because we are already curious and suspicious about it all.
But her family and friends took to social media earlier this week to distinguish between El’s case and Gabby’s, writing about a Facebook page dedicated to research:
“We realize that on the surface, the public information for the two cases shares some similarities… We understand the frustration many of you have expressed about how and why some cases receive national coverage. In the end, these two cases are NOT the same and the differences are deeper than what is perceived by the public. We fully appreciate the love that continues to be shown to El.
It might not be the same, but it looks like it deserves just as much attention.
Sadly, it appears authorities have done all they can with their local search. Maybe the Internet can help? Surely if she really met someone and flew away, if she really is somewhere then Someone must know something.
Lauren Cho was last seen wearing a yellow t-shirt and denim shorts. She is described as a 5 foot 3 inch Asian woman with dark hair and brown eyes. She has tattoos under her left collarbone and on the inside of her right arm.
The San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with information about Lauren Cho to contact Detective Edward Hernandez or Sergeant Justin Giles at (909) 387-3589, citing case number 092101115. Anonymous advice may be submitted on WeTip.com.
We hope that the attention that any fortuitous similarities between El’s disappearance and the Gabby Petito case will be enough to help find her. And that it does not end so tragically …
[Image via Nomadic Statik/YouTube/Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department.]