ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Services are planned Friday for a Winnetka man and volunteer ski patrol member who died over the weekend in a skiing accident near Mt. Waterman, officials said.
William Robert Eslick Jr., 61, died Saturday afternoon after he struck a tree while skiing near Mt. Waterman, deep in the Angeles National Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley, Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said.
A memorial service is planned at 11 a.m. Friday at the Elks Club, 20925 Osborne Street in Canoga Park, according to the National Ski Patrol.
The accident took place about 12:30 p.m., Winter said.
“Two patrons on a ski lift heard a loud impact,” he said. They reported it to the NSP, and Eslick’s patrol partner soon found him.
Paramedics soon found Eslick and pronounced him dead at the scene, officials said.
An autopsy determined he died from blunt force trauma to the chest, with a contributing cause of heart disease, Winter said. The death was ruled accidental.
Eslick was described as “an expert skier” and ski instructor who volunteered for the NSP’s Far West Division, Winter added.
Family members could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Eslick’s colleagues in the NSP, Far West Division Director Bill Gibson said.
“On behalf of the National Ski Patrol family, we are deeply saddened by this tragic event, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill’s family,” Gibson said. “Because the accident is under investigation, we cannot provide further comment regarding the accident at this time.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Coroner’s officials have identified a 61-year-old Winnetka man killed in an apparent skiing accident Saturday at Mt. Waterman.
William Robert Eslick Jr. died after striking a tree about 12:30 p.m. while skiing at the mountain, deep in the Angeles National Forest along Highway 2, Los Angeles County coroner’s and sheriff’s officials said.
An autopsy was pending, however investigators noted no initial signs of foul play, sheriff’s Lt. Douglas Mohrhoff said.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A 60-year-old man died in what was believed to be a skiing accident Saturday afternoon at Mt. Waterman in the Angeles National Forest, authorities said.
The apparent recreational mishap was first reported about 12:30 p.m. at the ski resort along Angeles Crest Highway, deep in the forest north of the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Douglas Mohrhoff said.
It initially appeared the skier struck a tree, he said.
Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene about 1:15 p.m., Mohrhoff said.
No further details were available.
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> An armed robber fled with $7 after robbing a robbing a La Canada Flintridge Donut shop Saturday, officials said.
The heist unfolded about 11:35 a.m. at the Golden Donut Palace, on Foothill Boulevard at Gould Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Doug Mohoroff said.
The robber brandished a handgun as he demanded money, ultimately fleeing with the paltry sum of cash, he said.
Deputies described the robber as a white man in his 30s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds, the lieutenant said.
Initial reports from the scene further described the robber as having a mole on the right side of his lip and wearing a brown knit cap, dark pants and a blue or black long-sleeve flannel shirt.
He was last seen heading east on Foothill Boulevard on foot.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station at 818-248-3464.
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> Deputies jailed one suspect and sought another after interrupting a residential burglary Wednesday morning, authorities said.
A resident of the 5500 block of Castle Rock Drive called 9-1-1 about 10 a.m. after seeing two men breaking into neighbor’s house, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Bill Jaeger said.
“We were there within a minute,” Jaeger said. “As a result of that response, we were able to quickly apprehend one suspect running from the location.”
The second suspect got away, prompting a neighborhood search that continued for more than three hours, the lieutenant said.
The second suspect remained at large, he said.
Deputies recovered items stolen from the home that were dropped by the suspects as they fled, Jaeger said. Investigators also recovered the car the suspects had driven to the neighborhood.
Deputies withheld the name of the arrested suspect Wednesday as they continued searching for his alleged accomplice, Jaeger said.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Two people were hurt, and one of them went missing for hours, after their car plummeted over the side of Angeles Crest Highway deep in the Angeles National Forest early Sunday, officials said.
A passer-by discovered the crash scene about a mile north of Mt. Wilson Red Box Road shortly before 10 a.m. after hearing a woman screaming for help, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Bill Jaeger said.
Members of the Montrose Search and Rescue Team joined Los Angeles County firefighters to hoist the injured passenger, a teenage girl, to safety, Jaeger said.
She was flown to an area hospital by helicopter for treatment of injuries not believed to be life threatening, Sgt. Booker Hollis said.
But the driver of the car, a man of about 20 years old, was nowhere to be found as of noon, officials said.
“They found a blood trail, which indicates he’s injured and was trying to make his way out of the area,” Jaeger said.
Authorities called off the mountain search Sunday afternoon, Hollis said. The man remained missing.
Shortly before 4 p.m., however, a CBS television news crew that went up the mountain to cover the story heard a man yelling for help, Lt. Chad Sauter said. They notified authorities, who re-dispatced rescuers to the scene.
Officials found the man suffering from a broken leg and other injuries not believed to be life-threatening in the same area they had been searching with the aid of two helicopters and two search dogs, Sauter said.
It was unclear why the man didn’t call out to rescuers, or could not be heard, earlier in the day.
The crash was initially believed to have taken place several hours before the wreckage was discovered.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A sheriff’s helicopter crew hoisted three stranded hikers and their dog to safety Saturday after they became trapped on a mountain ridge north of La Canada Flintridge, officials said.
The rescue took place about 12:45 p.m. near the Bear Canyon Campground in the Switzer Falls portion of the forest.
The hikers, two men, a woman and a dog, went off a trail, became disoriented and ended up stuck on a mountain top, unable to get back down, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“One hiker was able to make a cell phone call to contact the local sheriff’s station, Crescenta Valley Station, and requested help.
A sheriff’s department helicopter responded and hoisted all three people and their dog into the aircraft before flying them to safety, officials said. They were not hurt.
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> A bomb squad responded to a La Canada Flintridge Park Sunday before ultimately determining a suspicious object resembling dynamite was a discarded toy prop left behind from a birthday part the day before, officials said.
The incident kicked off about 10:15 a.m. when someone reported finding a bundle of five red cylinders lying on the ground at a small park in a residential neighborhood in the 4900 block of Ocean View Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Randy Tuinstra said.
Police notified the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail of the find, and a bomb squad responded to the scene, the lieutenant said.
As deputies were beginning to evacuate nearby homes, a resident was able to shed some light on the unusual discovery.
He explained that the device was a toy prop that had been left at the park after being used for a “hot potato” game during a birthday party Saturday, Tuinstra said.
Bomb squad members quickly confirmed the device, which was made of PVC pipe, was harmless, Tuinstra said. Officials declared the all-clear about 11:15 a.m.
Though the object was found to pose no threat, Tuinstra said the initial caller did the right thing by reported the suspicious device to authorities, adding that officials would rather err on the side of caution in such situations.
PHOTO – courtesy
Police and worried family members are asking the public’s help in finding a Sunland woman who mysteriously vanished four weeks ago after stopping by her sister’s home in La Crescenta.
Kimberly Ann Blum, 44, was last seen the afternoon of June 5 as she left her sister’s home in the 2000 block of Cinco Casitas Lane in La Crescenta, according to family members and Los Angeles police officials.
After briefly stopping by the house, where a graduation party was planned for her niece, Blum, suddenly left, her mother Rosalie Blum said.
“She was at a family event, and left, and hasn’t been since,” the worried mother said. “I don’t know if she went to get some air, or what.”
A bag containing some of Kim Blum’s belongings, including medication, was found along Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest, about 21 miles north of the 210 Freeway, according to police and family members.
And despite extensive searches of the area, Kim Blum’s silver, 2004 honda CRV SUV with California license plate 5JVU774, remains missing, officials said.
“We’ve exhausted all leads,” Detective Cletus Carlton of the LAPD’s Adult Missing Persons Unit. “We’ve not found her car, which is unusual.”
Finding the SUV may be the key to finding out what happened to Kim Blum, Carlton said.
Police, aided by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and the Montrose Search and Rescue Team have searched the area where the Kim Blum’s bag was found multiple times since her disappearance, finding no other clues into her whereabouts, Carlton said.
Family members even hired a private helicopter to conduct a search, with no success, Rosalie Blum said. “It’s really, really treacherous terrain up there,” she added.
Kim Blum’ credit cards and bank accounts have not been accessed since her disappearance, police and family members said. “And she didn’t have much cash on her, from what we know,” the mother said.
“She did have a cell phone, a smart phone, but the last ping was at a tower near her sister’s house, so we don’t know whether she turned it off. There hasn’t been anything from that,” Rosalie Blum said.
Rosalie Blum said her daughter has never gone missing before and had been busy making plans at the time of her disappearance.
A friend was scheduled to arrive in town to stay with Kim Blum June 6, Rosalie Blum said. Kim Blum had also made several appointments to meet with clients of her personal organizer business.
Rosalie Blum said she also couldn’t imagine her daughter voluntarily leaving behind her beloved dog, Sadie.
The mother said she planned to head up into the forest again Thursday to pass out fliers with pictures of Kim Blum as far north as Wrightwood.
“You always want to be hopeful,” Rosalie Blum said.
The worried mother asked those who will be recreating in the forest this Independence Day weekend to keep an eye out for Kim Blum or her SUV.
Kim Blum, a graduate of La Canada high School and the University of Redlands, is described as white, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 144 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black tank top, and she also wears prescription glasses.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Carlton at 213-996-1800.
PHOTO of Kim Blum courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Department.
For the second time in two days in the same area, home-invasion robbers stormed into a La Canada Flintridge home late Thursday, authorities said.
Two armed robbers escaped with cash and jewelry after robbing an elderly couple about 10 p.m. at their home in the 5100 block of Jarvis Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Chad Sauter said.
Both robbers brandished handguns as they surprised the couple in their home and ransacked the house for valuables, the lieutenant said. No injuries were reported.
The robbers were initially described only as black men, one taller than the other, wearing all dark clothing and hooded sweat shirts, Sauter said.
A similar home-invasion robbery took place late Wednesday in the 2900 block of Los Olivos Lane in neighboring La Crescenta.
In that crime, a man was awakened and tied up by two robbers who held him at gunpoint as they ransacked his home for cash, jewelry and electronics, Lt. Elisabeth Sachs said. The robbers were described as two black men in their 20s, one of them about 6 feet 3 inches tall, wearing dark clothing.
While officials did not know for certain if the robberies were linked, investigators noted the similarities.
“Because the descriptions are so vague, we can’t really say, but it’s an interesting coincidence,” Sauter said. “It’s possible they could be the same suspects.”
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau are handling the investigation.