Body Identified as Missing LA County Fire Captain
The Sheriff’s Office is releasing the identity of the decedent located on Hot Springs Trail on August 18, 2018 around 6:00 p.m. in Montecito.
The decedent is 43-year-old Wayne Stuart Habell of Newhall.
The cause and manner of death is a suicide, by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Next of kin has been notified.
Update by edhat staff
A man's body was found Saturday evening in a canyon not far from where a vehicle belonging to a missing Los Angeles County Fire Department captain was spotted.
At approximately 2 p.m. Friday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies responded to the area of the Hot Springs hiking trail in Montecito due to reports of a suspicious vehicle that had been there since Monday.
The vehicle was registered to 43-year-old Wayne Habell, of Newhall, who was reported missing earlier in the week. The authorities state the man connected to the vehicle was seen walking up the trailhead.
Search teams scoured the area to find him, but could not locate Habell before it got dark. The search was halted and then resumed in the early morning hours of Saturday.
Around 6 p.m., search teams found a man's body in a canyon. The body was taken to the Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office for further investigation.
Authorities could not confirm that the body was Habell. The identification of the body and cause of death will be determined by the coroner.
The investigation is ongoing.
The vehicle of a missing Los Angeles County Fire Captain was found in Montecito on Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Authorities from Santa Barbara County Sheriff's contacted the Los Angeles County Missing Person's Unit at approximately 4:00 p.m., stating the black SUV was located in a rural area in the City of Montecito by a passerby at around 2:00 p.m.
A search of the area was conducted, however, 43-year-old Captain Wayne Stuart Habell was not located in or near the vehicle. Authorities stated they will continue to investigate and use all resources necessary to try and locate him.
Habell was last seen leaving his home in Newhall on Monday, August 13, 2018, at 7:30 a.m. It was believed the father of three was heading to the L.A. Fitness in Stevenson Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley when he last left home.
The captain, who works at fire station 73 in Newhall, has been with the department for 13 years. Officials had previously said they were searching the Santa Clarita Valley area.
Habell is described as being 6 feet tall and weighing 225 pounds with short brown-blond hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt with plaid shorts.
Family, friends, and detectives are asking for anyone with information regarding Wayne Stuart Habell's disappearance to please contact us at 323-890-5500 or anonymously at 800-222-8477.