Investigation Launched After Body Found Off Side of Road in Santa Monica Mountains

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An investigator responds to the scene where a body was found off the side of a ride in the Santa Monica Mountains, above Malibu, on July 27, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

An investigator responds to the scene where a body was found off the side of a ride in the Santa Monica Mountains, above Malibu, on July 27, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

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Homicide detectives were investigating the death of a man whose body was found down an embankment in the Santa Monica Mountains on Friday, officials said.

A passerby called authorities around 11:30 a.m. to report seeing the body off the side of the 24000 block of Piuma Road, in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County above Malibu, Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund said.

Deputies met the caller at the scene and found a corpse about 20 to 25 feet down an embankment, according to Hoglund.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It appeared the individual was in early decomposition,” Hoglund said.

Investigators are now working to piece together whether the man died of natural causes or if he was killed. Although homicide detectives were on the case, Hoglund said it was “just too early to tell.”

“At this point everything’s up in the air,” he said. “We don’t know what the situation is.”

Malibu Search and Rescue officials were responding to the scene to assist investigators in recovering the remains and processing the scene, which involved rugged terrain.

No further details were available.

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