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Local News

Authorities Seek Public’s Help in Identifying Body Found on Nojoqui Grade

Autopsy yields clues about badly burned man along Highway 101

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of a severely burned body found alongside Highway 101 about six miles south of Buellton.

About 4:13 a.m. Thursday, the California Highway Patrol responded to the report of a fire off the side of the northbound lanes of Highway 101 on the Nojoqui Grade, 1½ miles north of the Highway 1 exit. Santa Barbara County firefighters also responded and put out the flames.

During this time, a severely burned body of an adult male was discovered in the remnants of the fire. There was no vehicle in the area, and it is not clear when and how the body came to be in the area.

Results of an autopsy completed Friday may not be available for several days or even weeks, but it yielded clues that sheriff’s detectives are sharing with the public with the hope that it leads to the identification of the man.

The man’s left hand was deformed before the fire. The hand is described as underdeveloped with only three digits. It may have been a deformity at birth, or perhaps an accident suffered at an early age. The man also wore dentures. His age and ethnicity remain undetermined.

Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call sheriff’s detectives at 805.934.6170 or the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 805.681.4171.

— Drew Sugars is a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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