Nautica Malibu Triathlon

Competitors at the annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon

A 69-year-old man from Irvine, Stephen Zumucen, was found dead in his parked vehicle on Zuma Beach Plaza shopping center in the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 14, a few hours after competing in the Malibu Nautica Triathlon.

According to the Los Angeles County Office of the Coroner, the finalized autopsy said Zamucen died of sudden cardiac death.

The Nautica Malibu Triathlon confirmed Zamucen had been a participant in the event.

Event spokesman Dan Cruz provided a statement from organizers.

“We were shocked and saddened to learn that a participant was discovered in their vehicle several hours after completing the Olympic distance triathlon and passed away. This news is devastating and our hearts are with the participant’s loved ones during this tragic time,” event organizers said in the statement. “We are in communication with the family and have extended our deepest condolences.”

Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Djabourian and Investigator Moses concluded the death to be natural and caused by coronary artery atherosclerotic heart disease. There was no further investigation ordered.

Witnesses told KBUU News Zumucen had been sitting in his vehicle for more than an hour before a 9-1-1 call was made.

According to KBUU, Zumucen studied at UC Santa Barbara and Santa Clara University and taught at Long Beach State University Extension Program throughout the past 20 years. He was known to be a frequent competitor in triathlons and marathons.

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