Coroner's investigators have identified a man's body found in the desert
on Aug. 29 as a resident of San Diego County, and deputies were seeking
more info about how he died, Riverside County sheriff's officials said
Thursday Sept. 5.
The man was identified as Leslie James Kennedy, 36, from
Chula Vista, Sgt. Thomas Velarde of the sheriff's Colorado River Station said in a statement.
"Mr. Kennedy had been reported missing to the Chula
Vista Police Department by family members on August 26, 2013," Velarde said. "Family
members told the Chula Vista Police Department Mr. Kennedy had last
been seen in the Blythe area, where he had lived and worked for a short
On Aug. 17, Kennedy told family members he was
returning home to Chula Vista but never made it home
and he was not heard from again, Velarde said.
Ten days later, Colorado River Station deputies assisted the Chula Vista Police
Department with the missing person investigation, Velarde said.
Deputies learned the
California Highway Patrol had towed the missing person's abandoned car, a
silver 2000 Ford Mustang, from Interstate 10 just outside Blythe on
Aug. 17, Velarde said.
began a search of the desert area surrounding where Mr. Kennedy's
vehicle had been abandoned," Velarde said. "The search met with negative results."
On Aug. 28, deputies returned to the desert
area where Kennedy's Mustang had been abandoned to search again but
found no sign of Kennedy or any indication of his whereabouts, Velarde
On Aug. 29, investigators requested
assistance from the Riverside County Sheriff's Aviation Unit in the
search for Kennedy.
"An expanded aerial search of the desert area
where Mr. Kennedy's vehicle had been abandoned was conducted," Velarde said. "During
the search, a possible body was observed in a remote area in the desert
hills north of where Mr. Kennedy's vehicle had been found."
Investigators hiked to where
the possible body had been observed and found a deceased
white male adult who appeared to be 30 to 40 years of age, Velarde said.
personnel were called out and the body of the decedent was recovered
and taken to the coroner's office in Indio for further
investigation and positive identification, which was confirmed Tuesday
Sept. 3, Velarde said.
"This is an ongoing investigation," Velarde said. "Anyone with
information about this case is urged to call Colorado River Station
investigators at 760-921-7900."
Anonymous tipsters can use the sheriff's CrimeTips online form.