The Signal

Death of Canyon Country resident deemed ‘accidental,’ incident under investigat­ion

- By Caleb Lunetta and Trevor Morgan

Although the investigat­ion remains ongoing, the death of a man in Canyon Country on Sunday is being treated as an “accidental death,” according to law enforcemen­t officials.

The exact details and cause of death of the man, who was identified by officials at the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office as 67-year-old Santa Clarita resident John Mahaffey, was not released as of Monday.

According to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, a spokeswoma­n for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the man’s death was first reported as a “person not breathing” near the 27900 block of Rigel Drive at approximat­ely 2:30 p.m.

“L.A. County Fire pronounced a male adult deceased at approximat­ely 3:05 pm,” Arriaga said on Monday. “This investigat­ion is being handled at a station level. It has been ruled an accidental death. However, it remains under investigat­ion.”

“There are no persons outstandin­g, nor any arrests pending,” she added.

At the time of the incident, Fire Department Supervisor Velderrain said the body was found “down a hill” and the initial case report from the Coroner’s Office indicates the body was found at the base of a cliff.

Gusti Cicchetti, who lives two houses down from where the body was found, said they knew the deceased well and considered him a friend.

He’s always been a big part of the community,” said Cicchetti. He also said the man had a wife and three sons and that she was not at home, as she was with her sons for Mother’s Day.

“Just you know, everybody knows everybody in this block,” said Cicchetti. “You know, he’s lived here for 40 years.”

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