Suicide suspected in man’s death in Angeles National Forest


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Foul play is not suspected in the death of a man whose body was found deep in the Angeles National Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley on Friday, officials said Saturday.
Two hikers reported discovering the body of a man, estimated to be in his 30s or 40s, shortly before noon in the parking lot of a trail head along mile marker 63.5 of Angeles Crest Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
After examining the body and the scene, the death was being investigated as a suicide, he said.
The man had suffered a puncture wound to his upper body, and an apparently hand-fashioned stabbing implement was found next to the body, Reid said.
Investigators from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner will conduct an autopsy.

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Body found deep in Angeles National Forest north of Azusa


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Homicide detectives were summoned to investigate after a hiker discovered a body deep in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa late Friday morning, authorities said.
The remains were found shortly before noon in the vicinity of San Gabriel Canyon Road and Angeles Crest Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
No further details were available as the investigation remained in its early stages.

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Stabbing victim found dead in Angeles National Forest above La Canada Flintridge identified as Palmdale man


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Authorities have identified a 35-year-old stabbing victim whose body was found along the side of a road deep in the forest north of La Canada Flintridge last week.
A hiker discovered the remains of Anthony James Willis shortly before 1 p.m. on March 2 along mile marker 18.97 of Angeles Forest Highway, in the area of Big Tujunga Road, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
An autopsy found he died from “sharp force injuries,” he said. The death was ruled a homicide.
The body was found at the end of a 30-foot-long drainage ditch that channels storm water off of Angeles Forest Highway and into the forest, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said. It appeared the killer or killers dumped the body after fatally stabbing the victim at another unknown crime scene.
“It doesn’t appear that the murder occurred there. We think someone just placed the body there,” Mendoza said.
The lieutenant said he was not aware of any gang ties on the part of the victim.
Mendoza said the body did not yet show signs of decomposition and was likely placed in the forest within a day or days of its discovery.
He asked anyone who saw anything suspicious or unusual in the area in the days leading up to the discovery of the body to contact homicide detectives.
No further information was available Wednesday.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man found dead in Angeles National Forest above La Canada Flintridge believed to be homicide victim


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> The death of a man whose body was discovered Thursday afternoon in the forest north of La Canada Flintridge is now being investigated as a homicide, authorities said Friday.
A passer-by first discovered the body about 12:50 p.m., about 30 feet off the side of Angeles Forest Highway, near mile marker 18.87, in the vicinity of Big Tujunga Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s officials initially described the victim as elderly. But it was ultimately determined he was a 35-year-old man, Deputy Grace Medrano of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
His identity was withheld Saturday pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said.“Based on the upper body trauma that was discovered on the victim’s body, this case is being investigated as a homicide,” she said.
No further details were released.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man’s body found in Angeles National Forest north of La Canada Flintridge


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a man whose body was discovered deep in the Angeles National Forest north of La Canada Flintridge on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The body was first discovered about 12:30 p.m. along Angeles Forest Highway, in the vicinity of Big Tujunga Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Woman, stubborn dog rescued from deep ravine in Angeles National Forest above Altadena

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A mountain rescue team rescued a woman and her aviophobic dog after they became trapped at the base of 800-foot-deep ravine in the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena on Friday, authorities said.
Members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Altadena Mountain Rescue Team responded to reports of a distressed hiker about 3:30 p.m., sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Sheriff’s Air Rescue 5 located a female adult hiker just south of Mueller Tunnel, off Mt. Lowe Fire Road, approximately 800 feet over the side of the cliff,” according to the statement.
Rescuers hoisted the woman into the helicopter and took her to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
The woman had been hiking with her 40-pound pit bull mix, named Zeus. But the flight crew was not able to capture the dog and were forced to leave it behind as they tended to its owner.
Montrose Search & Rescue Team members joined in the endeavor, and two rescuers were lowered to the dog be helicopter.
“A second attempt was made to secure the dog in a harness to be flown out, however the dog was not cooperative and Air 5 left the area,” according to the statement.
The stubborn pet, “didn’t feel like a helicopter ride,” Deputy Dan Paige said via Twitter.
So officials used hundreds of feet of rope to hoist Zeus, and the rescuers, up to the roadway.
The dog, which appeared uninjured, was taken to an animal shelter in Baldwin Park.
A civilian volunteer working on the rescue was injured when a large rock fell about 40 feet, striking him in the head, shoulder, arm and hand, sheriff’s officials said.
“The rock had knocked his headlamp off his helmet and rendered his right hand completely numb,” according to the statement. “The injured rescue team member bandaged his hand and hiked out on his own.”
It was determined at the hospital that the rescuer suffered a fracture and an inch-long laceration to his finger.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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UPDATED: Hiker killed in Angeles National Forest accident identified as Gardena man


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Authorities have identified a 67-year-old Gardena man who died in a hiking accident that left four others injured in the Angeles National Forest on Saturday.
Michael J. Yoo died at the scene of the incident, which was first reported about 11:10 a.m. near Islip Saddle, along Angeles Crest Highway, just west of San Gabriel Canyon Road, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
He and four other members of a hiking club, described as three men and a woman in their 60s, when at least one of them fell down an ice chute, Sgt. Michael McGratten of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s San Dimas Station said.
It appeared the other hikers were trying to help when they fell as well, he said.
Ventura County search and rescue team members, who happened to be training in the area, worked with Los Angeles County sheriff’s search and rescue teams and Los Angeles County firefighters to reach the group using helicopters, as well as ice axes and other climbing hear, officials said.
“The injured hikers were located approximately three hundred feet down an icy slope, approximately one mile north of the starting point,’ Ventura County sheriff’s Deputy Chris Dyer said in a written statement. “The elevation was approximately 7,000 feet with a 70 degree incline. Rescue rope systems were implemented and rescuers made contact with injured hikers.”
Yoo was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy was pending.
Three of the other hikers were hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, officials said. Another hiker suffered injuries described as minor.
“All were suffering from shock and hypothermia,’ Dyer said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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One killed, four injured in hiking accident near Islip Saddle in the Angeles National Forest

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A weekend excursion turned tragic Saturday when five people hiking in the Angeles National Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley fell down an ice chute, killing one and injuring four, authorities said.
The incident was first reported about 11:10 a.m. near Islip Saddle, along Angeles Crest Highway, just west of San Gabriel Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
Ventura County search and rescue officials, who happened to be training nearby, were the first to respond to help. They were soon joined by their counterparts from Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments in the rescue effort.
The response was hindered by a landslide on San Gabriel Canyon Road, requiring officials to circumvent it and access the scene via Angeles Crest Highway.
One of the hikers was pronounced dead at the scene, Reid said.
Three of the hikers were flown to hospitals for treatment in unknown condition, while anther suffered minor or no injuries, Reid said.
The four surviving victims were described as three men and a woman in their 60s, Reid said. A description of the victim who died was not immediately available.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Woman hurt in fall while hiking near Eaton Canyon Falls


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Rescuers rushed a woman to a trauma center with “significant injuries” after she fell about 30 feet while hiking near the Eaton Canyon Falls in the Angeles National Forest north of Pasadena, authorities said.
The incident was first reported about 3:30 p.m. at the first of the two waterfalls at the canyon, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
The woman, who was estimated to be in her 30s, suffered “significant injuries,” though the injures were not initially believed to be life-threatening.
The water near the falls was knee deep and flowing quickly as a result of the recent storms, Derderian said.
The area where the mishap occurred is off-limits for recreation, she added.
Derderian encouraged forest-goers to stay out of restricted areas and use extra caution due to the recent rainfall.

Video courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department

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Coroner: Mountain biker found in forest above Altadena died from natural causes

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A mountain biker from Torrance found dead in the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena last year died of natural causes, and not as a result of a biking accident, an autopsy found.
Evan Bruce Sisson, 49, of Torrance, died from ischemic heart disease and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s records. Investigators also noted a medical history of hypertension and ruled the death natural.
His body was found Jan. 31 along the Brown Mountain Truck Trail amid a search for the cyclist, who was reported missing after failing to return from a ride the previous day, officials said.
Though deputies notes some injuries on the body consistent with a fall from his bike, a cause of death was not immediately apparent. Following the initial autopsy, Sisson’s cause of death was delayed pending further forensic testing.

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