January 15, 2008

Body found in Mojave National Preserve possible suicide

By Aaron Aupperlee, city editor
Desert Dispatch

CIMA — The body of a 26-year-old man was found inside a vehicle by a park ranger working in the Mojave National Preserve Monday evening.

The cause of death is still unknown pending an investigation, but officials within the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s-Coroner Department suspect it may be suicide.

“We started looking at suicide as the initial mode,” said Sandy Fatland, a spokeswoman for the coroner’s office.

The man’s name will not be released until the family has been notified, Fatland said. The car is registered out of Glendale, Ariz., the sheriff’s report stated. Fatland said the man appears to be a reserve officer in the military. His last residence is not known.

The ranger found the body near the intersection of Cedar Canyon Road and Kelso Cima Road in Cima, about 15 miles south of Mountain Pass, at 5:12 p.m. Initial reports speculated that the body had been in the vehicle for awhile, however Fatland said there was no evidence yet to indicate how long the body had been dead.

The Barstow sheriff’s station is investigating. Anyone with information can call the station at 256-4838. People with information that wish to remain anonymous can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME or leave information on the WeTip Web site at www.wetip.com.