Santa Maria - North County

Authorities investigating body found next to car near Lompoc

Death considered suspicious

Law enforcement investigate suspicious death after body found near Lompoc

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating a body that was found laying next to a car Friday morning in Lompoc.

The body was found next to a car on the 5600 block of Santa Rosa Road, between Highway 101 and HIghway 1. The location is between Lompoc and Buellton.

California Highway Patrol responded to the vehicle and body at around 8:45 a.m., after a passerby saw the body and called 911.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office took over the investigation and said the circumstances of the death appear to be suspicious. For that reason, the Sheriff's Office is withholding many details at this point to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Hoover said detectives and a forensics unit responded to the area. 

A person who discovered the wreckage said it appeared to have been there awhile. The vicitm has not been idetified and the circumstances of the incident are unclear.

Santa Rosa Road was closed in the area as part of the investigation. 

Fred Goeringer, who works at a local winery, had to turn around because of the closure. He said the news was surprising, given the quiet community.

“It’s not every day that something like this happens,” Goeringer said. “This is an extremely quiet area of the valley, which is why we live here. To hear something like this is quite a surprise. And hopefully it is something that is explainable without some kind of horrific circumstance.”

Rick Garcia says he thinks people drive recklessly in the area, and that could have led to a crash.

“I’m up and down this road at least three to four times a week,” Garcia said. “And I see so many people speeding up and down. There’s not enough patrols out here, to be honest. I always think about that all the time.”

Garcia said he would be surprised, however, if foul play was involved in the death.

The investigation is ongoing. 

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