Wednesday, October 18 , 2017, 8:11 am | Fair 64º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara Hazmat Team Called In for Decomposing Body

Property manager discovered remains, which are believed to have been inside residence for 3 weeks

Santa Barbara City Fire hazmat crew was dispatched to the corner of Mission and Castillo streets Wednesday afternoon to pick up a body that was badly decomposed.

“It was in an apartment and as far as I can tell, there’s nothing suspicious about the death,” police Sgt. Riley Harwood told Noozhawk.

“The person was discovered by the property manager, and had been deceased for about three weeks,” Harwood said.

Police responded just before 10:30 a.m. to a residence with two separate, adjoining units in the 2000 block of Castillo Street to check on the welfare of a resident, and then called the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office, according to Santa Barbara Fire Battalion Chief Lee Waldron. 

Since the Coroner’s Office couldn’t move the body due to its advanced state of decay, he said, the hazardous materials crew was called in.

Waldron said the deceased resident was wedged between a bed and a wall, describing the scene as “ugly and smelly.”

Crew members wore waterproof Tyvek coverall suits and breathing apparatuses to avoid the odor.

Once the body was recovered, Waldron said it would be transported to the coroner, likely for cremation.

He couldn’t provide any other details about the victim, noting that the hazardous materials teams gets called out for these types of requests two to three times a year.

“You would think that somebody would’ve noticed before now,” Waldron said. “It's kind of sad.”

There hasn't been a positive identification of the body yet, but it is a man around 50 years old, Harwood said. 

"We believe it's the resident at that location," he said. "If is who we think it is, then the department is familiar with him and he had chronic health issues, so it would be nothing suspicious." 

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff reported from the scene. 

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli 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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >