press release - 09121601

Two Men Reported Missing are Discovered Deceased Near a Wrecked Vehicle Off Gibraltar Road


Santa Barbara - September 12th, 2016

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two males who were found deceased yesterday, September 11, 2016, near a wrecked vehicle located at the bottom of a cliff in the 3400 block of Gibraltar Road.  The decedents are 24-year-old David Esquivel of Santa Maria and 23-year-old Oscar Hernandez of Lompoc.  Next of kin have been notified. 

The men were acquaintances and were both reported missing to the Lompoc Police Department. The last time either was seen or heard from was on September 7, 2016.  Esquivel was reported missing by his family just before 10:00 p.m. on September 10th and Hernandez was reported missing just before 7 a.m. on September 11th.

At approximately 3:40 p.m. yesterday, September 11th, a resident who was hang gliding in the area spotted a wrecked vehicle at the bottom of the cliff in heavy brush and called 911.  Personnel from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara City Fire Department, Montecito Fire Protection District, United States Forest Service and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene. A CALSTAR helicopter and a Santa Barbara County Air Support helicopter responded to assist along with members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team. 

The wrecked vehicle was determined to be associated with the two men who were missing out of the City of Lompoc. The men were both found ejected from the vehicle in the rough terrain and vegetation.  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers with the assistance of multiple agencies utilized a rope system to lower rescue personnel down more than 600 feet to recover the bodies. 

Sheriff’s detectives are assisting the Coroner’s Bureau to investigate the circumstances surrounding their deaths.  An official cause and manner of death will be determined upon completion of the investigation.




For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


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