Update: Nov. 15
Officials from the San Bernardino County Sheriff/Coroner’s office have reported the discovery of Fang Jin’s remains in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park last month. The 47-year-old, along with her companion, 52-year-old John Fitzpatrick, had been missing since late July from Morongo Valley in San Bernardino County, Fitzpatrick’s place of residence.
On a personal note, I had clung to the hope that Fang Jin would be found safe. As time passed and this outcome seemed increasingly unlikely, my thoughts shifted to the importance of finding her for the family’s closure. Reflecting on the situation, I believe the intense heat of the Anza-Borrego Desert in July poses significant risks. Being outside of a vehicle in such conditions, even at night, is a perilous choice, in my opinion.
Update: Nov 7th 2023
CBS 8 filed a public records request with San Diego County Sheriff as well as California State Parks requesting call for service logs related to the discovery of the bodies and the location of the abandoned truck. Both agencies declined to release the records citing an ongoing investigation. Learn more on CBS8.
Update: October 30th 2023
New developments have emerged in the case of a missing Chinese tourist, Fang Jin, 47, and a former Navy SEAL, John Fitzpatrick, 52. Over the weekend, human remains believed to be those of Fang Jin were found in the Anza-Borrego desert. This discovery follows the earlier finding of remains thought to be John Fitzpatrick’s in Harper Canyon on September 17.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department notified the family of Fang Jin, although it’s unclear whether the notification was direct or through a private investigator. The department has not yet commented publicly on the discovery of the remains.
The couple went missing during the week of July 22, when temperatures in the Anza-Borrego desert ranged between 106 and 117 degrees Fahrenheit. Fitzpatrick’s damaged and abandoned 4-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma was also found in the area, although the date of this discovery has not been disclosed.
Fang Jin had flown to California from China on July 14 to meet Fitzpatrick, with whom she had been texting for about six months. She came for romantic purposes and expected Fitzpatrick to show her around the Morongo Valley and Joshua Tree State Park.
The case remains active, and both the San Diego and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Departments are involved in the investigation.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Fang Jin
This blog aims to shed light on the mysterious disappearance of Fang Jin, whose case is closely tied to our community. We’ll discuss the facts surrounding her case and why it’s crucial for Borrego Springs residents to be vigilant.
Latest update on the cases of Fang Jin, who is still missing, and John Fitzpatrick, whose remains have been found.
Fang Jin, a 47-year-old woman from Guangdong, China, began an online connection with 52-year-old John Root Fitzpatrick from Morongo Valley, California, in early 2023. After six months of online correspondence, Fang Jin flew to Los Angeles on July 14, 2023. She stayed overnight at the Freehand Hotel in downtown LA.
The next day, she took a train to Palm Springs, where Fitzpatrick picked her up at a bus stop near the Agua Caliente Casino. They spent the night at Fitzpatrick’s trailer home in Morongo Valley. From July 16 to July 20, the couple visited Joshua Tree National Park, where they went hiking and camping. During this time, Fang Jin was in regular contact with her family and friends through her cell phone and social media.
The Last Communication: July 21, 2023
On July 21, Fang Jin spoke to a friend over the phone, sharing that she had returned from Joshua Tree National Park. She also mentioned plans to go camping again in a small desert town in the Morongo Basin Area. This was the last time anyone heard from her.
“The last video Jin sent to her family was recorded at night on July 22 on Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms a few miles from the Marine Corps base, CBS 8 has confirmed.”
Missing Persons Reports Filed: Late July 2023
A missing person’s report for Fang Jin was filed with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department on July 26.
The Investigation & Search Warrants:
On August 1, investigators served a search warrant at Fitzpatrick’s mobile home. They seized suitcases belonging to Fang Jin, a straw hat, and her white purse. An odor of decomposition was also detected. A second search warrant was executed on August 3, leading to the seizure of three iPhones.
Skeletal Remains: September 17, 2023
On September 17, a hiker discovered skeletal remains in the Harper Canyon area of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. These remains were later confirmed to be those of John Fitzpatrick.
Official Confirmation and Vehicle Discovery: October 11, 2023
The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department confirmed on October 11 that the remains were indeed Fitzpatrick’s. They also stated that his truck was found nearby in the Harper Flats area.
A Borrego Springs Community Alert
For residents of Borrego Springs, this case is too close for comfort. We urge everyone to keep their eyes open and report any suspicious activity or information that could help locate Fang Jin.
Your vigilance could make a difference in solving this heart-wrenching case.
For any information related to the death of John Fitzpatrick, please reach out to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at (858) 974-2222. If you have details about the missing person, Fang Jin, you are urged to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s dispatch at (909) 790-3100.
Timeline of the Disappearance of Fang Jin
Fang Jin, a 47-year-old Chinese citizen living in Guangdong, China, begins corresponding online with 52-year-old John Root Fitzpatrick from Morongo Valley, California.
July 14, 2023
Fang Jin flies from China to Los Angeles, California, to meet John Root Fitzpatrick after six months of online correspondence. She spends a night at the Freehand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
July 15, 2023
Fang Jin takes a train to Palm Springs. Fitzpatrick picks her up at a bus stop near Agua Caliente Casino in Palm Springs. The pair spend the night at Fitzpatrick’s trailer home in Morongo Valley.
July 16-20, 2023
Over the next five days, Fang Jin and Fitzpatrick visit Joshua Tree National Park, hiking and camping in the area. Fang Jin stays in contact with family and friends via cell phone and social media.
July 21, 2023
Fang Jin is last heard from during a phone call with a friend. She mentions that she is back from Joshua Tree National Park and is about to go camping again in “a small town in the desert” in the Morongo Basin Area. This is the last day Fang Jin contacts her friends and family.
July 26, 2023
A friend of Fang Jin files a missing person’s report with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
July 30, 2023
John Root Fitzpatrick is reported missing by a friend to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
August 1, 2023
Investigators serve a search warrant on Fitzpatrick’s mobile home, seizing suitcases belonging to Jin, a straw hat, and Jin’s white purse with her belongings inside. Officers also detect an odor of decomposition.
August 3, 2023
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators serve a second search warrant at Fitzpatrick’s mobile home, seizing three iPhone cell phones. The second search warrant remains sealed.
September 17, 2023
A hiker finds skeletal remains in the Harper Canyon area of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The remains are later identified as those of John Fitzpatrick.
October 11, 2023
The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department confirms that the remains found in September are those of John Fitzpatrick. His truck was also located nearby in the Harper Flats area.
Fang Jin remains missing. Her bank account has had no activity since July 21, and her cell phone service stopped on July 25. The case remains an open investigation with both the San Bernardino and San Diego Sheriff’s Departments.
News and Internet Coverage
The San Diego Tribune has covered this story, albeit behind a paywall, but the urgency of this case calls for more widespread attention from San Diego County news platforms.
For those looking to delve deeper into the ongoing search for Fang Jin, the following resources provide valuable information:
We strongly encourage more San Diego County news platforms to cover this urgent case.
Again, we urge residents to remain vigilant and keep an eye out for any clues that could help locate Fang Jin.
SOCIAL MEDIA POST: Copy and post to your social media accounts.
We will continue to update: Disappearance of Fang Jin: Anza Borrego Connection
🚨 URGENT COMMUNITY ALERT 🚨
We need your help to solve the mysterious disappearance of Fang Jin, a 47-year-old woman from Guangdong, China. She was last heard from on July 21, 2023, and her case has unsettling connections to our community.
🔍 Key Details:
- Last seen on July 21, 2023
- Visited Joshua Tree National Park from July 16-20
- Was in contact with John Fitzpatrick, whose remains have been found
📞 Who to Contact:
- San Diego County Sheriff’s Department: (858) 974-2222
- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department: (909) 790-3100
👀 Your vigilance could be the key to solving this heart-wrenching case. If you have any information, no matter how small, please contact the authorities immediately.
🔄 Please Share Widely The more people who see this, the better the chances of finding Fang Jin. Let’s come together as a community to help solve this case.
#FindFangJin #BorregoSprings #JoshuaTree #MorongoBasin #SanDiegoCounty #SanBernadinoCounty #MissingPerson
Fundraising Campaign to Locate Missing Person Jin Fang
The GoFundMe campaign aims to raise funds for a reward to help locate 47-year-old Jin Fang, who was last seen on July 21, 2023, in or near Morongo Valley, California. The campaign is organized on behalf of Jin Fang’s daughter and parents, who are in China and have no direct means to search for her in the U.S. Your contribution can make a significant difference in this desperate search for a missing loved one.