HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say the body of a man, who had been reported missing, was discovered Tuesday at a busy shopping center in Huntington Beach.
The Orange County man was found dead in a loading dock at the Bella Terra, which is an outdoor shopping center located in the 7700 block of Edinger Avenue.
The discovery was initially made by a Costco employee just before 4 a.m. The employee was in a parking structure smoking a cigarette. When he looked over the side, he saw the victim and called police.
“Through the investigation, our detectives learned that the deceased person has been reported as a missing person out of another city,” said Sgt. Jennifer Marlatt of the Huntington Beach Police Department.
Investigators say the victim is 38, but declined to release further details. Crime scene technicians collected evidence behind the Burlington Coat Factory where the loading dock is situated.
The death was being treated as suspicious as police said there was trauma to the body.
“I’m very shocked,” said Nina Shaffer, a mall employee. “I’m actually sick to my stomach just even thinking about it. It gives me chills.”
Shaffer says the mall is equipped with security cameras, which police say they were checking for leads.
“There are a lot of cameras around here. If I park my car in the wrong spot, I’ll know because they’ll say, ‘OK, you have to move. You’ve been there too long,’ ” she said.
An investigation was ongoing.