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Local News

Deputies Converge on Neverland Ranch After ‘Suspicious’ Call

Deputies launched an intensive search of Neverland Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley Tuesday afternoon after receiving a "suspicious" call reporting a crime had been committed there, but eventually determined the report was a hoax, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

The call came in to the department's non-emergency line at about 3:45 p.m., said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

Hoover would say only that the call was "suspicious" and the caller indicated a crime had been committed.

However, there were reports that the caller claimed to have killed people and had taken hostages.

Hoover said deputies searched the various buildings at Neverland, which was made famous by the late pop star Michael Jackson and is still owned primarily by his estate.

A large contingent of emergency personnel, including a county helicopter, converged on the 3,000-acre ranch in the 5200 block of Figueroa Mountain Road outside of Los Olivos.

At about 8:20 p.m., Hoover said investigators had determined no crime had been committed.

"After three hours of searching the property, which expands several thousand acres and includes several structures, the call was determined to be unfounded," Hoover told Noozhawk. "There was no evidence of a crime or anything suspicious in nature."

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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