The South Pasadena Police Department (SPPD) is investigating the death of an adult man whose body was discovered the morning of Nov. 30 in Arroyo Park, adjacent to Arroyo Seco, in the 800 block of Stoney Drive.  

The case is being investigated as a natural death. Investigators from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner are assisting SPPD officers. The decedent is being listed as a John Doe #322 by the coroner, according to Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer, LA County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner. An autopsy is pending.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:58 a.m.

Authorities are now saying that the man’s body was found in an encampment actually designed to be hidden from view, according to a source close to the investigation who was not authorized to speak on the matter. Also, the body appears to have been there for several weeks and died from natural causes.

Ardalani said identification may take a while because of the body’s condition.

“The body’s condition requires additional efforts to confirm identity,” Ardalani said. 

The body, most likely a homeless man, was found by people “scavenging the area” that were going through the dense vegetation, according to the source.

“Nobody walking on a trail, road, or even the wash would have seen it,” the source said. The identification process could take several weeks.

The SPPD will provide further information as it becomes available. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact SPPD detectives at (626) 403-7280.  


Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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