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Coroner’s Office Rules Out Foul Play in Death of Ojai Man Found in Creek Near Gaviota

Eric “Sunny” Buttler Click to view larger
Eric “Sunny” Buttler

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department determined foul play was not involved in the death of a missing Ojai man whose body was found near Lompoc in July. 

Detectives with the Coroner's Office and the criminal investigations division conducted an investigation into the death of 57-year-old Eric "Sunny" Buttler after his body was found in a creek bed near a popular hiking trail, said sheriff's department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover. 

Buttler was last seen in Carpinteria and his family reported him missing June 28, authorities said. 

Buttler was last known to be traveling from Ojai to Lompoc when, for unknown reasons, he stopped overnight in the city of Carpinteria. 

A resident of the area found Buttler’s body July 14 in a creek bed in Las Canovas Canyon, which is just east of the northbound Highway 1 exit to Lompoc, authorities said at the time. 

Buttler’s vehicle was located in an unincorporated area of Santa Maria July 4, according to Hoover.

An official cause of death is pending toxicology and lab results, Hoover said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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