Man’s body dumped at Piuma identified


The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has identified the body that was found in early July at the 12000 block of Piuma Road south of Calabasas.

He is Roger Eli Chavez Barahona, a 19-year-old Latino man from Compton.

The coroner said Barahona died of multiple gunshot wounds. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death as a homicide.

The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station received a call July 2 notifying them of a body seen on an embankment to the side of the road in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.

Malibu Search and Rescue was called to retrieve the body, which lay a short distance down the embankment and was in the early stages of decomposition.

It was the third death discovered in the Malibu Canyon area in a span of just three months.

On May 16 the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was called to the 1600 block of Las Virgenes Canyon—only a few miles away from the Piuma Road incident—after a man’s body was discovered in a drainage ditch.

Investigators ruled the death a homicide, and the autopsy showed the victim, 52-year-old Francisco Reynaldo Cruz, was killed by sharp force injuries to the neck and chest, as well as from a blunt force injury to the head.

It remains unclear if Reynaldo was killed where his body was found or if the crime occurred somewhere else.

On June 22, deputies from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station responded to an early morning report of gunfire at Malibu Creek State Park. Upon arriving deputies discovered Tristan Beaudette, a 35-year-old resident of Irvine, dead from at least one bullet wound.

Beaudette was camping with his daughters, ages 2 and 4, when he was shot in the head. The children were uninjured.

Authorities have not said if the three deaths are related.

Ian Bradley