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Sheriff’s Office says they’ve identified decomposed body found in Santa Barbara neighborhood


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says they have identified the remains of a man discovered in a Santa Barbara neighborhood on Sept. 14, 2018, said to be a local transient in his 60’s, but have not released his name because they have been unable to locate his family.

No foul play is suspected.

The case has been turned over to the Public Administrator’s Office.

A homeowner working on his yard in the 100 block of Clearview Road discovered the badly decomposed body near his home.


A couple living along the 1500 block of Clearview Road in Santa Barbara made a startling discovery Friday afternoon while doing yard work in the backyard.

“I was raking the deepest corner of the yard, where there’s a chain-link fence right up against the hillside and I spotted the rear end of what turned out to be a human body,” said Dave Ariza, who discovered the body.

Authorities were notified just after 3:30 p.m. Ariza believes the body may have come down from a very steep hillside next to the property.

Ariza and his wife just moved into the property two weeks ago and it was occupied for at least eight months before that.

“According to the homeowners, they noticed an odor a couple days ago they believed that it might have been either a dead animal that was up on the hill and then the odor just got stronger and stronger,” said Ethan Ragsdale, Acting Sergeant with the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Law enforcement on scene say the body is severely decomposed.

“As far as the race or even gender of the person, at this point, I do not even know that,” said Sgt. Ragsdale.

Sgt. Ragsdale says the body was located on the other side of Ariza’s property fence line between a large ravine and shrubs and ivy.

“[It’s] surreal, you don’t expect to come across a dead body on a Friday afternoon when you’re enjoying a beer and raking leaves but that’s what happened,” said Ariza.

The incident remains under investigation. No further details were immediately known with Ragsdale adding that there are a lot of unknowns at this time.

The corpse is now in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

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