WESTMINSTER, Calif. - It was a difficult day for hundreds of friends and family who came to Westminster to say goodbye to Rachel Nguyen, who was found dead in Joshua Tree National Park after she went missing in July.
"She always had a lot of energy. She was always positive and she was the funniest one in our group of friends and she always put yourself before others," her friend, Michelle Nguyen, said.
Rachel and her boyfriend, 22-year-old Joseph Orbeso, disappeared back in July. They had gone hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and never returned to their hotel.
After searching for months, their bodies were found a week ago. They were hugging each other under a tree. Detectives said Orbeso shot Nguyen and then shot himself, and it appears the couple had lost all hope of being rescued, turning to that method as a way to end their suffering.
"It helps knowing that she wasn't suffering alone, Joseph was there to her last breath. It was an act of compassion. We hold no ill will toward Joseph or his family," Nguyen's uncle, Son Nguyen, said.
Another of Rachel's friends Andy Bui said Nguyen was a "really selfless person" and was always a "really good friend."
"I considered her one of my sisters, and I just wanted to always be there for her," he said.