Fang Jin and John Fitzpatrick

Report: Missing Morongo Basin man found dead in desert, Chinese tourist with him still missing

Update 10/18/2023:

Our sister station CBS San Diego is reporting that Fitzpatrick’s family has been notified that his remains have been found in the desert. 

News Channel 3 reached out to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Officials with the department said that they did not confirm anything about the discovery of John Fitzpatrick’s remains.

The Department told News Channel 3 that they have not located John Fitzpatrick or Fang Jin, and their missing person cases are still open.

Public information officer Gloria Huerta said “I spoke briefly with a reporter last week and told him I could not find Fitzpatrick’s information on our Coroner’s website (exercising due diligence) and later advised him to contact the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.”

This new information contradicts reporting by the San Diego Union-Tribune and CBS 8 San Diego.


A San Bernardino County man who’d been reported missing was found dead at the Anza Borrego State Park, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept. told the newspaper that the body of John Fitzpatrick, 52, was found at the park in September.

Authorities have not located Fang Jin, 40, a Chinese national who hired Fitzpatrick in July to be her tour guide in the Morongo Basin area.

Authorities said Jin was last heard from on July 22. Fitzpatrick was reported missing by a friend on July 30.

“They were supposed to go camping, but the amount of time was not disclosed. There are both still listed as voluntary missing. The investigation is ongoing at this time,” SBCSD PIO Mara Rodriguez told News Channel 3 on Aug. 10.

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Fang Jin Description:

  • 5 feet, 4 inches tall
  • Weighing about 110 pounds
  • Black hair
  • Brown eyes

Details on the case have been very limited since Jin’s disappearance was first announced. On Aug. 10, Rodriguez told News Channel 3 it was not a criminal investigation at the time and there were no suspects.

If have any information, you are urged to contact dispatch immediately at (909) 790-3100. You can also contact Detective Bengard at (760)366-4175 or [email protected]

Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.

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