Bodies found in wrecked car in Angeles National Forest identified as missing teenage couple

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Monday, July 19, 2021
Bodies found in Angeles National Forest ID'd as missing couple
Two bodies found earlier this month below a cliff in the Angeles National Forest have been identified as a missing teenage couple, officials say.

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST (KABC) -- Two bodies found earlier this month in the wreckage of an SUV that plunged hundreds of feet off a cliff in the Angeles National Forest have been identified as a missing teenage couple, officials say.

A coroner's report identified the bodies as those of Ethan Manzano and Sophie Rayanne Edwards, both 19.

The crash site is about 20 miles from where the young couple was last seen on July 1.

Sheriff's officials said the vehicle was spotted at about 5:20 p.m. on July 6 near mile marker 72 of the Angeles Crest Highway, near Dawson Saddle Trail. Chad Keel, a Wrightwood resident who was helping search for the missing couple, told reporters he was operating the drone that spotted the wreckage and volunteers contacted the sheriff's department.

2 bodies found amid search for missing couple last seen in Angeles National Forest

Two bodies have been found amid a search for a missing teen couple, last seen in the Angeles National Forest.

The couple were in a silver 2007 Isuzu Ascender driven by Manzano, sheriff's Deputy Shawn Du Busky said.

Some of the couple's belongings were also spotted near the crashed vehicle, which was found about 1,300 to 1,500 feet below the roadway, partially obscured by brush.

"I can't believe I'm going to be burying my son. He was only 19,'' Manzano's father, Al, said earlier this month.

"She was an amazing young lady, very intelligent and kind and just full of life and spunk," said Cheyenne Chassie, Edwards' sister.

Ethan Manzano and Edwards, his girlfriend, were visiting friends in the Newcombs Ranch area but left around 1:30 p.m. on July 1 to drive home to Apple Valley. They never arrived. The couple were planning to move to Colorado over the Fourth of July weekend.

Investigators speculate that the vehicle's driver veered off the winding roadway, sending the vehicle careening down the hillside.

Detectives are working to determine the cause of death.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the couple left the Newcombs Ranch area at 1:30 a.m., but the couple left around 1:30 p.m.

City News Service contributed to this report.