California State Parks opened an investigation last week after the body of a 58-year-old Caucasian man was found in Malibu Creek State Park on Thursday, Nov. 5.
The man—later identified as Kirk Essert—was discovered after park officials responded to a “man down call” at 1:55 p.m. last Thursday in the 700 block of Malibu Canyon Road, Lindsey Templeton, public safety superintendent of the Angeles District, wrote in an email.
“We did find a lone male who was deceased and on state park land. The incident was not on or near any formal trails within Malibu Canyon,” Templeton wrote.
Essert was homeless, Sarah Ardalani, a representative of the LA County Coroner’s Office, wrote in an email.
Templeton said the matter was still under investigation. The county coroner marked Essert’s cause of death as “deferred,” meaning that “after an autopsy, a cause of death has not been determined and the medical examiner is requesting more investigation into the death, including additional studies,” Ardalani described.
“Once the tests/studies come back, the doctor evaluates the case again and makes the cause of death determination,” she wrote.