The two dead bodies discovered on a Joshua Tree back-road Monday night have been identified as 44-year-old Guus Van Hove, a big venue manager on the Dutch music scene, and his wife, 38-year-old German woman Helena Nuellett.
The Los Angeles Times reports that investigators believe the couple's rental car had been stalling that day. Peak temperatures were pushing 105 degrees.
Roadburn Festival, an annual event that took place at Van Hove's venue, has an obit posted on its blog:
"We're grieving, and lost for words at the tragic news that Guus van Hove and his wife have died during their travels in the USA.
Guus was the general manager of the 013 venue, and he guided us through every step of the way in the setting up of Roadburn Festival at the venue, and his, and his wife's loss on a personal level is also beyond measure."
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department announced that "at this point, there is no sign of obvious injury to either person, and the evidence indicates the pair both succumbed due to exposure to the elements."
reads as follows is translated by Google like so:
"With great dismay, we announced that our manager Guus van Hove (44 years) on Monday, August 22, 2011 during a tour of the United States is deceased at the consequences of a fatal accident. It was terrible news to family, friends and staff of 013 arrived very hard. Therefore, and because the investigation is still ongoing, we currently have no announcements about the circumstances of the accident."
According to 013, Van Hove has managed the venue with "boundless energy" since he took over in 2003, and all shows will be canceled for the rest of the week. His LinkedIn profile is thick with music-industry ties.
KPSP Local 2, serving the Palm Springs desert community, reports that the "European tourists" were traveling through Joshua Tree on their way from the Coachella Valley to Arizona, when "it looks like they got stuck on a dirt road":Black Eagle Mine Road, to be exact. "The rental car was found abandoned in an area generally deemed impassable to passenger vehicles," Riverside Sheriff's Captain Raymond Gregory told the station. In addition:
Joshua Tree National Park Spokesman Joe Zarki tells KPSP Local 2 that the road the man and woman were found on -- each a few miles from their abandoned car -- was in a remote area of the park and is "fairly rough." In fact -- that road is only recommended for four-wheel-drive vehicles, which the two were not driving.