ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST (CBSLA) – A burned body found in the area of a brush fire near the Mount Wilson Observatory last week has been identified as that of a missing 18-year-old man.
The Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office identified the body as belonging to Matthew Huerta, Los Angeles police said Wednesday. His cause of death was not confirmed.
Huerta was reported missing Oct. 18. At the time, his family said he was suicidal, police reported. Huerta’s body was found later that afternoon in the same area of the Wilson Fire. It had been burned beyond recognition, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies said.
The Wilson Fire broke out in steep terrain on Oct. 17, one day prior to the discovery of Huerta’s body, near the historic observatory and several communications towers in the San Gabriel Mountains, northeast of Los Angeles.
The fire sparked on a mountainside just below the observatory and a facility that houses critical broadcast and communications antennas for the region.
The cause remains under investigation.
The Wilson Fire has burned 50 acres and was 70 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. Amid the heat wave that has gripped the region, Angeles National Forest firefighters are continuing to monitor the fire for hot spots and working to improve containment lines.