Body Found near Train Tracks

[UPDATE] Second East Beach Homeless Death in Two Weeks

[UPDATE]: Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover has confirmed the victim’s name and identity. He is Jason Messerschmidt, a Santa Barbara County street person.

Original Story:

The body of an apparently homeless 33-year-old man was found at 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, along the train tracks near South Milpas Street, said city police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood. During a welfare check, an officer found the man “obviously deceased” and lying face down next to his belongings just south of the railroad tracks in a popular cut through from S. Milpas to Calle Cesar Chavez, said Harwood.

The victim, whose name had not been released at press time, was identified through “hospital paperwork he had on him that indicated he’d had a serious illness.” There was “nothing suspicious” about the man’s death. His body showed “no obvious signs of trauma.” “We’d had some contact with him since 2015,” and it appears “he was homeless,” Harwood said. The shortcut near which he was found connects S. Milpas to Casa Esperanza homeless shelter on Cacique Street.

His is the second homeless death in the past two weeks in the East Beach, after 57-year-old Santa Barbara street person Alan Hunterman was found dead near Chase Palm Park on February 17.


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