Learn their names: eight bodies found during the search for Gabby Petito

Jessica Sarrach ‘24, Lyonlife editor-in-chief

Lauren Cho, Miya Marcano, Josue Calderon, Emily Ferlazzo, Sara Bayard, Robert Lowery, Kylen Schulte, and Crystal Turner. Eight names that have garnered very little mass media attention since the tragic discovery of their bodies. Gabby Petito. A case that caught global attention. With all these bodies found in a similar time span, the stark difference between the cases of the eight bodies found and Gabby Petito— only Petitio’s name will sound familiar.

Lauren Cho

On Oct. 9, a body was found in Yucca Valley desert 30 miles north of Palm Springs. The body was later identified as Lauren Cho. Cho was officially reported missing on June 28, at around 5. According to friends, Cho went missing after she left the Airbnb compound at which they were staying in an agitated state without her phone. Her ex-boyfriend, who brought the police’s attention to her disappearance, reports that she was highly upset when she left.

Around a month after Cho’s reported disappearance, on July 24, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) conducted an aerial search of the area Cho was reported missing from. When the aerial search proposed no results, detectives took to searching the Airbnb home on July 31. After tireless searching from the SBSD and Cho’s family and friends, the case went cold. Cho’s case began to heat up after media attention was funneled towards the disparity of coverage of persons of color in criminal or disappearance cases opposed to the coverage in those of white individuals or victims. Because of this attention, Cho’s case picked back up, leading to the discovery of her body on Oct. 9. As of now, the cause of death has not been determined, and more information regarding her death will not be released publicly until the SBSD has more information.

Miya Marcano

On Oct. 2, eight days after the disappearance of Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old college student, a body was discovered around the Tymber Skan apartment complex in Orlando, Florida. The body, later identified as Marcano, was found bound at the hands, feet, and mouth with black duct tape. She was found wearing only jeans, a bra, and a robe. Orange County Sheriff John Mina said, “There is no indication that their was sexual assault of any kind.”

The main suspect in the death of Marcano is 27-year-old Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where Marcano lived. Caballero was found dead of apparent suicide three days after the disaperence of Marcano. The official police theory is that after Marcano rejected Caballero from romantic advancements, Caballero waited in her apartment, and killed her upon her return home. Caballero, as a maintenance worker, had a key fob to Marcano’s apartment which was used just before her disappearance. The official investigation into the death of Marcano is still ongoing. 

Josue Calderon

On Oct. 9, down a ravine in the Blue Ridge Parkway, the body of 33-year-old Josue Calderon was discovered. Tourists made the 911 call when they noticed a body in a ravine during a hike. The death investigation was labeled a homicide and is being investigated as such. Reports from investigators claim that Calderon’s body had suffered multiple stab wounds. When questioned regarding his death, Calderon’s family said that he had no car and they do not know how he got to Blue Ridge Parkway, which is more than 800 miles from his home. The FBI is joining the National Park Investigative Services Branch for the homicide investigation.

Emily Ferlazzo

During the weekend of Oct. 15, Emily Ferlazzo was shot and killed on her one year wedding anniversary vacation. Twenty-two-year-old Ferlazzo was on a wedding anniversary vacation with her 41-year-old husband Joseph Ferlazzo when the two got into an argument. He then returned home without his wife prompting her parents to file a missing persons report. The Vermont State Police allege that when asked, Ferlazzo admitted to shooting his wife that Saturday after the two got into an argument. Police reports reveal that Ferlazzo’s body was found with two gunshots to the head. Ferlazzo was then arraigned in Burlingten, where he has plead not guilty to the charge of first degree murder. The trial has not been closed yet.

Sara Bayard

Fifty-five-year-old Sara Bayard was reported missing to the El Paso County Sheriff’s office on July 4, after last being seen at a convenience store in Parker on Jun. 28. Her dead body was discovered Oct. 9, in Douglas County. The police have not released any information about the cause or manner of her death and have yet to state if they believe any suspicious play was in effect.

Robert Lowery

Robert Lowery went on a hiking trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in August, and never returned home. The remains of the 47-year-old father were found on Sept. 28, on the Black Canyon trail. Lowery tragically took his own life with a gunshot to the head, leaving behind his two children, Meredith and Luke. Lowery’s sister, Leigh Lowery, claims that he left on the trip after leaving his real estate job in Houston, Texas. Leigh hopes to support the children as much as she can in the present and future. In an interview about the death of her brother, she said, “The children will have the unconditional love and support of our full extended family.” She has set up a GoFundMe in hopes of supporting the children through college. 

Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner

Utah couple Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner were reported missing on Aug. 16. The two women were found murdered two days later on Aug. 18, near Moab, Utah. Both women were found undressed from the waist down, and one’s top had been altered to show her breasts. The two women had multiple gunshot wounds across their bodies leading officers to mark the case as a double homicide.

According to the police, before the women were murdered, they had sent a text to one of their friends saying that there was a creepy man near their campsite and if something happened to them, they were “murdered”. One of the last people to see them alive, Kayla Borez, said, “[We] were just having a great time, having a couple of drinks, and all they said was there was a creep [staying] next to them, and that was it.” The police have not been able to close the case yet, and have not released any prime suspects to the public. As of now, the case is still ongoing.

Eight bodies, of eight people who all suffered tragic deaths. Murder, suicide, and undetermined deaths followed these eight victims to the grave. Lauren Cho, Miya Marcano, Josue Calderon, Emily Ferlazzo, Sara Bayard, Robert Lowery, Kylen Schulte, and Crystal Turner, may they rest in peace. 

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