Cantin Drops Lawsuit Against Sheriff’s Office over Debris Flow Remains

Attorney Says ‘Positive Discussions’ May Lead to ‘Satisfactory Resolution”

Jack Cantin at an Eagle Scout ceremony with his sister, Lauren; father, David; and mother, Kim. | Credit: Courtesy

Kimberly Cantin has withdrawn her lawsuit against the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office over ownership of bones that she believes are her son’s remains. 

Jack Cantin, 17, was killed in the 1/9 Debris Flow in 2018 that took the lives of 23 Montecito residents. His body was never recovered, but last summer, a UCSB anthropologist hired by Cantin announced bones belonging to Jack had been discovered. The Sheriff’s Office has disputed those findings and continues to classify the teen as a missing person. The anthropologist, Dr. Danielle Kurin, abruptly resigned from her tenured position at the university earlier this month.

Cantin’s attorney, Barry Cappello, said he has engaged in “positive discussions” with county lawyers “which we believe may lead to a satisfactory resolution.” “Based on those discussions,” Cappello said, “our client has chosen to dismiss the matter pending resolution. If the matter does not resolve, we will refile the lawsuit.”

Amber Holderness with the County Counsel’s office, while unable to publicly comment on the matter, provided a copy of the “tolling agreement” between the Sheriff and Cantin that confirms negotiations are ongoing.


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