Friday, April 20 , 2018, 12:27 pm | Fair 61º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Woman’s Body Found Outside West Foster Road Offices in Santa Maria

Discovery made near county mental health clinics, but police still investigating whether death was a homicide or suicide

The body of a woman was found Sunday afternoon outside a Santa Barbara County office on West Foster Road in Santa Maria, and investigators are trying to determine if the death was a homicide or a suicide. Click to view larger
The body of a woman was found Sunday afternoon outside a Santa Barbara County office on West Foster Road in Santa Maria, and investigators are trying to determine if the death was a homicide or a suicide. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The death of a woman outside a Santa Barbara County office building was being investigated by Santa Maria police on Sunday afternoon.

At 12:48 p.m., police were called to the 500 block of West Foster Road, where the body was found.

“We’re treating it as a suspicious death until we determine if it’s a suicide or a homicide,” police Sgt. Paul Flores said.

Crews initially were dispatched to the scene for a report of a body on fire, according to emergency dispatch radio.

However, Flores declined to say how the victim, described only as a white, female adult, died.

“I am not going to comment on the manner of death until we lock some things down,” he said, adding that the woman was found outside a vehicle.

In addition to police investigators, a Santa Maria Fire Department investigator was spotted at the scene.

The Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Department operates adult and children’s mental health clinics on the street.

Flores said investigators had not determined if the death was related to the mental health facilities.

“We haven’t identified the person yet so we don’t know,” he added.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Santa Maria police at 805.928.3781.

The suspicious death occurred hours after the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department began investigating the fatal shooting of a woman in an apparent homicide on Goodwin Road in Orcutt.

Investigators do not believe the two deaths were related, Flores said, adding that it was too early to say definitively whether there is a connection.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

Detectives examine a site in the 500 block of West Foster Road in Santa Maria where a body was discovered Sunday afternoon. Police say they are trying to determine if the death was a homicide or a suicide. Click to view larger
Detectives examine a site in the 500 block of West Foster Road in Santa Maria where a body was discovered Sunday afternoon. Police say they are trying to determine if the death was a homicide or a suicide. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
  • 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.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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 >