Detectives await autopsy results; no foul play suspected in Castaic Lake investigation

Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigate a body that was found near Castaic Lake on Tuesday. Bobby Block / The Signal

Although they are still awaiting the autopsy results, Los Angeles County Homicide Bureau detectives said they do not believe at this time that foul play resulted in a body being discovered near Castaic Lake on Tuesday. 

Investigators said they have used the moniker “John Doe #175” in referencing the body, as they await the results of an examination conducted by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.  

“(The investigator) said there was no obvious signs of trauma, no foul play, but we don’t know until we get the toxicology reports back from the coroner’s office,” said Lt. Hugo Reynaga of the Homicide Bureau. “If the coroner does the autopsy and reveals that, ‘Hey, this guy was bashed in the head’ or he’s got a bullet that we didn’t see or some kind of sign that it may have been murder, then we’ll take it over as a murder investigation.  

“But right now, the investigators that went out looked at it, didn’t seem like there was any foul play, and deferred to the coroner for the autopsy report,” he added.  

A toxicology report, Reynaga said, would be a part of the autopsy, and would aid investigators in determining whether an overdose was involved. The body has not yet been identified due to the state of decomposition, requiring the coroners to ID through other processes, such as a fingerprint roll.  

“Once the coroner finds out and they do the fingerprint roll and everything, and he pops up, they’ll get ahold of next of kin,” said Reynaga.  

The call that a person was found unresponsive was first reported at approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Castaic Lake Drive and Lake Hughes Road, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Supervisor Charisma Murillo.  

However, soon after officials arrived on the scene, the unidentified person was pronounced dead, Arriaga said.   

The body appeared to have been found in the bushes across the street from the south side of the Castaic Lagoon. 

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