Update: The Santa Monica Daily Press has identified the person found dead Sunday morning as recent Santa Monica High School graduate (’16) and life-long resident of the beachside city Juan Sebastian Castillo. The Santa Monica Police confirmed Monday that Castillo’s death is being investigated as a homicide. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Castillo.
The following is the statement released by Santa Monica police on Sunday, February 26, about the ongoing investigation.
The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) is seeking the public’s assistance with any witnesses to a suspicious death investigation.
On February 26, 2017 at about 5:08 a.m. SMPD responded to the 1300 block of 16th Street regarding an unconscious victim lying on the ground with a head injury. Santa Monica Fire Department Paramedics were notified and responded. Upon arrival, the victim was pronounced deceased by paramedics. SMPD Detectives were notified and responded to the scene for an investigation.
Detectives are investigating a possible link to this investigation with an earlier radio call for service. Earlier this morning at about 12:45 a.m., SMPD responded to the 2100 block of Pico Blvd regarding a possible shooting. Officers discovered evidence of a shooting in the immediate area; however, no victims or suspects were located. At this time, it is unknown if the two incidents are related.
The investigation is ongoing and detectives are interested in speaking with anyone who was in the area. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective D. Larios (310) 458-8937; Detective B. Cooper (310) 458-8478 or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.