On Sunday, members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s Search and Rescue Team located the body of a man reported missing Nov. 7.
With the help of a cadaver dog, searchers discovered the body of 63-year old Jim Mitchell down a hillside about 200 feet from his residence on Torito Road. The body was under such thick vegetation that the search dog needed the assistance of brush-clearing equipment operated by members of the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District.
Investigators have determined that Mitchell crawled underneath the thick brush to position himself away from others. Previous searches did not uncover the body because of Mitchell’s location in the undergrowth.
He was found with a handgun, which was registered in his name.
The coroners’ investigation revealed he died from a single gunshot wound to the head and concluded there was no foul play.
Investigators used dental records to identify Mitchell. His next of kin has been notified.
Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.