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New York City Couple Recounts Pleasant Interaction With Missing Flemington, N.J. Woman Lauren Cho In California

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A New Jersey woman has been missing for 99 days.

Lauren Cho suddenly vanished after a cross-country trip to California with her boyfriend to chase her dreams of becoming a chef.

CBS2's Cory James has been following this story and on Tuesday spoke with a local couple who said they met the missing woman days before she disappeared.

That New York City couple he spoke with did not want to reveal their identities, but told him they met Cho at an Airbnb resort in southern California. They described it as a compound for aspiring artists and a place where loved ones said Cho was living.

Cho, who loved ones call "El," has an angelic presence that even strangers like a woman from Brooklyn witnessed.

"She was smiling pretty much the whole time we talked," the woman said.

Lauren Cho
Lauren Cho (Photo: CBS2)

The New York City resident said that was the last face-to-face interaction she had with the missing Flemington, New Jersey woman.

It was when Cho brought over a honeymoon meal for the new bride and her husband at a Yucca Valley Airbnb back in May -- a $206 dinner the host of the compound suggested the new couple get.

"Everything was vegetarian. It was all super fresh," the woman said. "I remember we ate every bite. She seemed to be in great spirits."

It was a different encounter for the newlyweds, who told CBS2 they met Cho, 30, the day before at the pool with her boyfriend.

"I could tell that El was feeling a little uncomfortable," the woman's husband said.

"I feel like he was ignoring her a bit, more to socialize with others," the woman said. "He did say, 'This is my partner, El,'"

A month after the couple returned home they learned the woman they thanked for cooking them their private meal was reported missing.

Authorities say Cho's then-ex-boyfriend told them she walked away from the compound at around 5 p.m. on June 28, leaving behind personal belongings after "suffering from mental distress."

Thirty-three days later, investigators served a search warrant at the resort, but it is unclear what evidence, if any, was found.

"When you look at the map, it looks pretty desolate, but there's a good amount of houses and whatnot there," the woman said.

"There's something not said that needs to be [dug up]," the husband added.

That has left many wondering what happened, and Cho's family and close friends hoping to hear her voice again.

The Brooklyn couple CBS2 interviewed on Thursday said someone from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office contacted them Monday night. Right now, investigators told CBS2 they do not suspect foul play.

However, they are still waiting on potential leads in the case.

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