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Angeles County | Community News File / Topanga Canyon

Deputies Give Description of Body Found in Grave

October 02, 1998

The body found in a shallow grave near a home in the rural Santa Monica Mountains was described by authorities Thursday as a white man in his 30s.

The identity of the man has not been determined, said Deputy Isaac Aguilar, a Los Angeles County sheriff's investigator. He said the nearby house was vacant.

The house where the grave was found--off a private road near the 2400 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard--is owned by George and Gloria Menedes of Santa Barbara, according to county records.

Investigators would not reveal who found the body. George Menedes, contacted at home Thursday, declined to comment.

The discovery of the grave was made Wednesday about 6 p.m. by a person who noticed a foul smell, deputies said.

On Thursday morning, investigators--including a forensic archeologist--combed the property for clues.

Pete Elliot, now of Woodland Hills, had rented the house until July. He said he went to his former residence earlier this week to retrieve mail and did not notice anything unusual. Elliot said he was told by investigators that the grave had been covered with sheets of wood.

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