The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that the body of John Fitzpatrick was found last month in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Fitzpatrick went missing along with Fang Jin back in July, while the pair was reportedly on a tour of the Morongo Basin Area.
His body was found in Harper Canyon, located in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, south of State Route 78. His truck was parked nearby.
Update: A second set of remains was found in the State Park on October 28, 2023. They were later identified as belonging to Fang Jin.
No further details have been released.
The Disappearance of Fang Jin
In 2023, Fang Jin began corresponding online with 52-year-old John Root Fitzpatrick from Morongo Valley, California, who offered to take her on a tour of the Morongo Basin area.
On July 14, 2023, Jin flew from China to Los Angeles, California to meet John Root Fitzpatrick after six months of correspondence online. She spent a night at Freehand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles before taking a train to Palm Springs the next day.
Prior to her trip, Jin ordered a background report into Fitzpatrick to verify the man’s identity, military service, and employment record. She agreed to stay in touch with a friend every other day during her stay.
On July 15, 2023, Jin was picked up by Fitzpatrick at a bus stop near Agua Caliente Casino in Palm Springs, and the pair stayed the night at his trailer home in Morongo Valley.
Over the next five days, Jin and Fitzpatrick visited Joshua Tree National Park, hiking and camping in the area. Jin stayed in contact with family and friends during this time by cell phone and social media.
On July 21, 2023, Jin was last heard from during a phone call with her friend, saying that she was back from Joshua Tree National Park and was about to go camping again in “a small town in the desert” in the Morongo Basin Area.
Fang Jin stopped contacting her friends and family after that day and has never been heard from again.
On July 26, 2023, her friend filed a missing person’s report with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department when she couldn’t get in contact with her.
Jin’s daughter has stated that her mother had booked a return flight in October, and that she was not intending to stay in the United States.
Jin’s bank account has had no activity since July 21st and her cell phone stopped being in service on July 25th.
On July 22, 2023, Fitzpatrick’s vehicle, a blue Toyota Tacoma truck with the California license #24478S1, was captured on camera in Thermal, California. His cell phone last pinged to a cell tower in Julian on July 27th.
On July 30, 2023, John Root Fitzpatrick was subsequently reported missing by a friend to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
John Root Fitzpatrick
52-year-old John Root Fitzpatrick is described as a white male, approximately 5’8″ tall and weighing 185 pounds. He has black hair and hazel eyes.
In December 2020, the U.S military veteran pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was placed in the veterans treatment court, a program that offers alternatives to case proceedings for military veterans with underlying problems.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Fang Jin please contact the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175. Agency Case Number: 092301014