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HomeWorld newsDeceased man found in shed-like structure 'concealed' under Playa del Rey bridge

Deceased man found in shed-like structure ‘concealed’ under Playa del Rey bridge

A man was found dead Saturday afternoon in a shed-like space built into the underside of the Culver Boulevard bridge above Ballona Creek.

The wooden structure was in a “concealed space” under the Playa del Rey bridge, about 20 feet above the water line of the Ballona Creek flood control channel, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The slow-moving waters below are 10 to 15 feet deep, authorities said.

LAFD rescue crews accessed the structure Saturday afternoon and found the body of the approximately 40-year-old man, who was determined to be deceased at the scene.

The structure appeared to have served, at least at one time, as an impromptu living space, though it’s unclear if the man was the one who’d been living there, said LAFD spokesperson Brian Humphrey.

Members of LAFD’s Urban Search and Rescue Team wearing ropes, harnesses and personal flotation devices were able to access the space after hooking into the bridge infrastructure, Humphrey said.

LAFD’s Swift Water Rescue Team was also present in the water under the structure as a safety measure during the operation.

The body had yet to be removed from the structure late Saturday afternoon, and LAFD will likely use a wire basket stretcher to do so. The Fire Department will assist Los Angeles Police Department detectives and investigators from the coroner’s office in entering the structure.

“Upon the joint approval of LAPD detectives now leading the investigation and the Medical Examiner’s Investigator, LAFD personnel will assist in the safe and dignified removal of the body from the still difficult to access shed-like structure, at a yet to be determined time,” the fire department said in an incident report.

The coroner’s office still needs to identify the man and determine cause and time of death, Humphrey said.

According to Humphrey, authorities were first alerted Friday evening by a call from “an apparently homeless person who believed there was a body beneath a bridge” by a creek.

The caller, who appeared to be having some cognitive challenges, couldn’t say where the bridge was or what body of water it covered, Humphrey said.

Authorities looked for a body on the ground under multiple bridges around Ballona Creek on Friday evening but couldn’t find anything and were unable to get further information from the caller, Humphrey said.

The Fire Department was summoned to the scene Saturday by police, Humphrey said. Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Tony Im said police received a call at around 10:52 a.m. Saturday morning alerting them of the body. Im did not have further information about the call.

Culver Boulevard will remain closed to all traffic between Jefferson Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard until the police and medical examiner complete their operations under the bridge.

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