May 29, 2009

Suicide Victim Found Near Ibex Dunes

Ibex Dunes.

National Park News

On Saturday, May 23rd, BLM ranger Dave Brenner found an unattended car on Giant Mine Road just outside the park’s boundary near the Ibex Dunes area in the southeast corner of the park.

A check with dispatch showed that the car belonged to a missing person who was deemed at risk and reportedly armed with a handgun. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the man, 52-year-old David Penn of Lancaster, California, had been missing since April 30th.

Brenner subsequently found Penn’s remains on a rock pile. There was a loaded Sig Sauer P229 40 caliber handgun near the body and only one set of tracks leading to that location, which matched the footwear found on the body.

The Inyo County coroner later determined that Penn had died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. GPS coordinates later showed that the body was approximately 150 feet inside the park boundary.

Penn was reportedly despondent over a recent separation and pending divorce. Next of kin notifications were made by the Inyo County Coroner’s Office. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation.