Body Found in Forest ID’d as Man Allegedly Slain by Sledgehammer-Wielding Roommate in Ojai Valley

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Cameron Scott Lykins is shown in a photo released May 13, 2019, by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
Cameron Scott Lykins is shown in a photo released May 13, 2019, by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

A decomposing body found over the weekend in Angeles National Forest has been identified as a man believed killed by his roommate in the Ojai Valley, investigators said Thursday.

The body of 22-year-old Houston Auer was discovered Sunday, June 23, by a game warden with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife who was patrolling the area of Upper Big Tujunga Road and Colby Ranch Road, Ventura County sheriff’s officials said in a news release.

Auer’s body was concealed in a large brush area and partially decomposed, deputies said. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Lopez said it appeared to have been disturbed by animals.

The remains have since been moved to Ventura County, where local authorities will conduct the autopsy.

Auer’s roommate, 23-year-old Cameron Lykins, has been charged with murder with the special allegation that he used a sledgehammer in the killing.

Investigators believe Lykins bludgeoned Auer during a disturbance in their home on the 1100 block of Meyer Road, a rural street in an unincorporated area just outisde Meiners Oaks, in the early morning hours of May 12.

Deputies went to the residence around 10 a.m. that day after they say they got a tip that Lykins admitted to the slaying, and inside the home they found a bloody scene consistent with a homicide.

Lykins was not in the house, and authorities found him later that afternoon about 160 miles away from the crime scene, in the small town of Lone Pine in the eastern Sierra Nevada foothills.

The pickup truck he was traveling in contained evidence that it was used to transport Auer’s dead body, officials said.

The suspect remains in custody on $2 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned July 10.

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