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Transient Found Dead at Makeshift Campsite

Santa Barbara police say 41-year-old man died of apparent drug overdose

The remains of a 41-year-old homeless man are removed from a makeshift campsite near the Arrellaga Street offramp from Highway 101 on Monday afternoon. Police said they believe he died of a drug overdose.

The remains of a 41-year-old homeless man are removed from a makeshift campsite near the Arrellaga Street offramp from Highway 101 on Monday afternoon. Police said they believe he died of a drug overdose.  (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol |

A 41-year-old transient was found dead Monday afternoon at a makeshift campsite near the downtown area, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The victim was discovered in a bushy area adjacent to the northbound Arrellaga Street offramp from Highway 101, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Another homeless person who knew the victim found the remains and flagged down a patrol officer shortly after 1 p.m., Harwood said.

Evidence at the scene led officers to conclude the man died of a drug overdose, Harwood said, adding that the exact cause of death would be determined by the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office.

The man’s remains were discovered on a mattress in an elaborate campsite that was not visible from the roadway.

He was “obviously deceased,” Harwood said, and officers at the scene indicated he probably had been there for about a day.

Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene, leading to the tentative cause of death, Harwood said.

No foul play was suspected.

The man’s identity was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




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» on 01.15.13 @ 10:00 AM

There but for the grace of god go I. I believe we all have a choice in life but making the right choice may be a gift from God and I hope I never forget that and when I read stories like this I sincerely hope I do not become selfish and repeat “the person brought it upon himself”. Some people just do not have the ability to make the right decisions without outside help. Thank you Lord for the gifts you have given me and please give me the presence of mind to share those gifts with others who are needier than me.

» on 01.15.13 @ 12:53 PM

“Some people just do not have the ability to make the right decisions without outside help.”  And some people choose to be what they are, too.  It takes a lot of effort to be homeless in this town, between all the shelters and aid available.  Those drugs weren’t free, and I’m sure there myriad better uses for the money.

Perhaps this was a tortured soul, and he is now free.  But you can’t help those who refuse it, and it’s not for us to force them to be helped, either.

» on 01.15.13 @ 07:07 PM

I’m disappointed that you would use the word ‘Transient or homeless’ or ‘apparent drug overdose’ with no evidence to imply that the person is a nobody to be missed.  It turned out to be a friend of mine’s brother who stated for the record that his brother is not a transient or homeless.

But whether the person is a transient or homeless does not matter.  Each person is human being and counts. 

Please take the time to use your words carefully and be more compassionate and find out more about the person instead of just labeling them.

Bottom line is ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’  Maybe a rule of thumb here for every article you write in the future would be to treat every person as you would treat your beloved father, brother or son.

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