The mystery surrounding the death of a man whose decomposing body was found in an SUV near his Pacific Palisades home continued to grow, while police worked to trace the roughly 1,200 firearms found in his residence along with six tons of ammunition and thousands of dollars in cash.
Investigators were inputting serial numbers from the weapons into databases to determine who owned them, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Jack Richter.
The circumstances of the man’s death remained under “active investigation,” Richter said.
Coroner’s Chief Craig Harvey said his office was working to obtain dental and medical records — including X-rays — that could help positively identify the remains, which were found around 5 p.m. Friday in the 1700 block of Palisades Drive. Because of the condition of the remains, fingerprints could not be obtained, Harvey said.
Although the coroner is still working to confirm the man’s identity, an attorney for his fiancee told the Los Angeles Times the man was Jeffrey Alan Lash, 60.
The attorney, well-known local defense lawyer Harland Braun, told the paper the man died in the parking lot of Bristol Farms on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica on July 4. His fiancee — who believed Lash worked with a secret government agency — drove the body back to Pacific Palisades, left the body there and fled to Oregon, believing his government handlers would collect his remains, Braun said.
The fiancee, Catherine Nebron, had apparently been with Lash for 17 years and was convinced he worked as some type of undercover government operative, according to Braun, who said the man had cancer.
Two days after Lash’s death, a woman who worked for Nebron — 39-year- old Dawn VadBunker — was reported missing from Oxnard. VadBunker’s mother, Laura VadBunker, told KTLA by telephone that Lash had convinced her daughter and Nebron that he was some type of alien or human/alien hybrid “sent to Earth to protect us.”
Dawn VadBunker had apparently been with Lash and Nebron when the man died in Santa Monica, and she fled to Oregon with Nebron after his death, VadBunker’s mother said. She said her daughter is caught in the middle of the investigation and may be having a mental breakdown.
According to The Times, Lash’s neighbors knew him as “Bob,” describing him as a gun lover who claimed to have worked for the government. Police told the paper there is no evidence the man worked for the government.