A badly decomposed human body was found Thursday morning in the marsh area between UCSB’s Santa Catalina Residence Hall and and the Santa Ynez Apartments.
UCSB police detectives and Santa Barbara Sheriff’s investigators are trying to determine the identity of the body and cause of death.
Authorities haven’t immediately responded to requests for comment.
Anyone with information that may be useful to the investigation is asked to call campus police at (805) 893-3446.
[UPDATE, 4:25 p.m.]: Sgt. Rob Romero, UCSB police department spokesperson, said a school maintenance employee working off the foot and bike path between the two university housing complexes discovered the remains and alerted authorities.
The body was in “really bad shape,” said Romero, noting it had been exposed to weather and wildlife for quite some time. He wasn’t able to say exactly how long or provide any details on the person’s possible identity. Romero said there are no missing UCSB students his agency is aware of, and that campus police are working with other Santa Barbra law enforcement to rule out the possibility that the body is a student’s.
When asked about homeless people living and hanging out in the marshy area between the two sets of buildings, Romero said they’ve had “some problems” with the transient population. He declined to say if a homeless encampment currently exists in the area or if one had been set up there in recent months.
Romero stressed there is nothing at this point to suggest the death was the result of foul play, and that students and area residents are not in any immediate danger.