A Mammoth Lakes surgeon and former school board member who was implicated in a child sex investigation in Santa Barbara was found dead Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Andrew Bourne, 46, was found unresponsive around 4 p.m. Tuesday after a report of “a deceased male in the Mammoth Lakes area,” the Mono County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Emergency personnel dispatched to the scene pronounced Bourne dead. The cause of death is under investigation but authorities said foul play is not suspected.
As of late Tuesday, few other details had been released. KEYT reported Tuesday night that Bourne had injected himself with drugs.
In an investigation involving a 14-year-old Santa Barbara girl, Bourne, a married father of two, and Joseph Walker, 48, both of Mammoth Lakes, were arrested Jan. 4 by Santa Barbara police on suspicion of illegally contacting a minor for sexual activity.
Santa Barbara police Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte said the investigation was launched last September after suspicious emails sent to the girl were discovered by one of her parents and reported to authorities. Police said the investigation determined that the relationship between the two men and the girl, who is now 16, began two years ago. More than 1,000 messages were allegedly emailed to the girl.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office charged Bourne and Walker with several counts each of “unlawful contact with a child with the intent to commit a sexual crime.” Walker was also charged with one count of a “lewd act with a child.”
After their arrest in Mammoth Lakes, the two men were transferred to the Santa Barbara County Jail. On Jan. 10, they pleaded not guilty to the charges and were freed on $750,000 bail each.
The pair had been scheduled to appear in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Wednesday but last week their hearing was rescheduled to Feb. 10.
He resigned from the school board on Jan. 13 and the hospital announced it had terminated his contract soon afterward.
Walker is the son of a prominent Mammoth Lakes family and has been described as an “international businessman.”
According to authorities, Bourne and Walker own part-time homes in Santa Barbara and they were friends of the girl’s family.