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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 11:16 pm | Fair 47º


Decomposed Body Found in Rural Area East of Santa Maria

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s detectives have been unable to determine the cause of death for a badly decomposed body found Sunday in Tepusquet Canyon east of Santa Maria.

The remains were found at about 7:30 a.m. in the rural canyon, between Foxen Canyon Road and Highway 166, by a group of bicyclists, Lt. Craig Bonner told Noozhawk.

One of the cyclists went to a nearby ranch house and called 9-1-1. 

“Our patrol personnel responded to the location and confirmed this involved human remains,” Bonner said. “The cause of death was not readily apparent based upon the initial observations of our patrol personnel.

"It appears the decedent has been dead for quite some time.”

Detectives were unable to determine the identity of the body or whether the death was the result of a crime, Bonner said.

"Furthermore, due to the presence of decomposition and mummification, we are not able to provide an accurate physical description for the decedent at this time," Bonner said.

The sheriff’s Coroner Unit took custody of the remains, and will be working to identify the decedent and determine the cause and manner of death, Bonner said. 

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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