Robert Lester Bunch died Sunday morning at Cottage Hospital. He was a 56-year-old homeless man. It’s not yet clear what caused his death, but Santa Barbara Police say it could have been directly or indirectly related to the near-freezing temperatures of last Saturday night.

A citizen spotted Bunch Sunday morning just after midnight outside a liquor store on the 4000 block of Calle Real. He looked very sick or unconscious, so the citizen called police for a “welfare check.” When they arrived, Bunch was unconscious and his body temperature “very low,” said Santa Barbara Police Spokesperson Paul McCaffrey. Paramedics brought him to the hospital where he ultimately died. McCaffrey said Bunch also had a high blood-alcohol level.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff Coroner’s department isn’t saying Bunch died of hypothermia. They say he might have died of hypothermia. To read more see


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