Man’s Body Found Near Mall was Not Crime Victim: Cops

UPDATE, JAN. 14, 5:17 P.M.: The coroner has concluded the man whose body was found in Bella Terra mall loading docks was not the victim of a crime but suicide. An autopsy today indicated “there was no criminal activity surrounding the victim’s death,” according to Huntington Beach Police Officer Jennifer Marlatt. The autopsy concluded the man’s death was by blunt force trauma and that he took his own life, probably by jumping off the nearby parking structure, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 13, 6:36 A.M.: Huntington Beach Police fear they may be dealing with a homicide in Tuesday’s discovery of the body of a 38-year-old man near Costco and the Bella Terra shopping mall next to the 405 freeway.

Huntington Beach Police Officer Jennifer Marlatt says the man has been identified as a 38-year-old Asian who was reported missing in another city. The release of his name is pending notification of next of kin.

He was spotted in the Burlington Coat Factory loading docks by a Costco worker looking down from the upper level of the nearby parking structure. Police received the worker’s 9-1-1 call about 3:50 a.m., according to Marlatt, HBPD’s spokeswoman.

She deemed the death “suspicious,” disclosing the body had suffered unspecified trauma, but added it was “too early in the investigation to call it a homicide.”

Marlatt says the victim did not appear to be homeless.

Detectives are tracking down surveillance video, she said.

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