MONTECITO (CBSLA) — A search and rescue team with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department found the body of a man near the area of Hot Springs Trail.
The body was taken to the coroner’s office for identification. Authorities said the body was found around 6 p.m.
Officials had been searching the surrounding area for several days for Newhall resident Wayne Stuart Habell, 43, a LA County Fire captain.
Habell is a married father of three. His wife told reporters Habell has suffered with depression.
Yesterday, around 2 p.m. Habell’s black 2008 Chrysler Aspen was found parked near the trail head.
Witnesses said the car had been there since Monday. The sole male occupant of the vehicle — believed to be Habell — was seen walking up the trail head, police said. Authorities believed Habell left his home Monday morning and was headed to a gym to work out.
After getting the tip about the vehicle, Sheriff’s deputies, the Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit and Santa Barbara Search and Rescue team members responded and began an extensive search of the area. The search teams were unable to locate Habell.
Due to darkness, the search was called off until daylight. The search resumed in the early-morning hours Saturday.
At this time, the coroner is unable to confirm the identity of the decedent. The cause and manner of death are also under investigation.