The 44-year-old man found dead in Plaza del Mar Park, adjacent to Pershing Park, on Saturday was the son of the man found dead in Pershing Park on October 10, said police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood.
This Saturday afternoon, people reported seeing the 44-year-old kneeling in “an awkward position” and noted that he hadn’t moved in several hours, Harwood said. When police officers responded to the scene, they found the man deceased and located drug paraphernalia nearby; Harwood said authorities suspect he died of a drug overdose. No foul play is suspected.
Harwood said police aren’t releasing the name of the 44-year-old at this time but did confirm that he was the son of a man who died in Pershing Park earlier this year. No foul play was suspected in the father’s death. A friend of the father told The Santa Barbara Independent at the time that the man’s name was Michael Bassett.
Immediately following the father’s death in October, people paid tribute to him on his daughter’s Facebook page, and similar memorials to the son appeared on her account this weekend. Although unverified by authorities, comments indicate that the son’s name was also Michael Bassett.
[UPDATE]: According to the Sheriff’s Office, the 44-year-old man has been positively identified as Michael James Bassett. The cause of his death is awaiting autopsy and toxicology results, which could take a few weeks. On October 10, Bassett’s father, 65-year-old Michael James Bassett Sr. died of what authorities found to be of natural causes.