Missing couple found dead on trail near Big Bear, prompting homicide investigation

ByABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
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A missing couple have been found dead on a trail near Big Bear Lake, authorities said.

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (KABC) -- Homicide detectives are investigating the deaths of two people found on a trail near Big Bear Lake who have been identified as a missing couple - a man from Big Bear and a woman from Santa Ana.

The two have been identified as Paul Arthur Stockwell Jr., 29, of Big Bear and Ria Gabriella Williams, 27, of Santa Ana.

Williams had been reported missing after she didn't report to work on Friday. Stockwell, identified as her boyfriend, had been reported missing by his father. The two had last been seen in the Big Bear area together on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said Williams' vehicle was found in a parking area of Cougar Crest Trail in Fawnskin Monday at 2:18 a.m. Additional help from a K-9 unit was called in and deputies searched the area, finding the two bodies about a half-mile into the forest by around 1:30 p.m.

The missing persons reports did not provide any reason to suspect foul play, officials say.

Their causes of death were under investigation, but due to the circumstances, the case is being treated as a homicide.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Nick Craig at (909)387-3589 or provide anonymous information to WeTip at (800)78CRIME.