Body found in Bear Divide area identified

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials respond to the Bear Divide area after a body was reportedly discovered on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. Bobby Block/The Signal

Medical examiners with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified the man found dead in the mountains surrounding the Santa Clarita Valley Monday evening.

Won Lee, 94, of Glendale, was pronounced dead at the scene in the Bear Divide area around 5 p.m. on a forest trail, near Little Tujunga Canyon Road and Santa Clara Truck Trail, according to Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman with the coroner’s office.

Lee was first reported missing out of the Glendale Police Department’s area around 7:30 a.m. Monday from his residence on the 14000 block of Montgomery Avenue, according to Sgt. Christian Hauttmann of the Glendale Police.

A next-door neighbor notified the family they hadn’t seen Lee’s car in two days, which was suspicious as they typically see it all time, and hadn’t seen Lee in person since several days before, Hauttmann said.

While Lee’s phone was going straight to voicemail, detectives were able to track cell phone records to locate it up in the Bear Divide area, where Lee’s body was ultimately found, Hauttmann added.

On Monday evening, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Search and Rescue teams, as well as L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Air Rescue 5, were called in to assist Glendale Police with an ongoing investigation, according to Sgt. Bengtson of the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

“They did a flyover of the area and discovered the victim’s car,” Castillo said.

Lee’s cause of death remained undetermined as of Wednesday morning, and the circumstances surrounding his death were still being investigated, Castillo added.

Deputies respond to reports of a possible dead body found near radio towers on a forest trail near Bear Divide in the Angeles National Forrest Monday. August 02, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.

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