PACIFIC PALISADES—The decomposed body of Pacific Palisades resident Jeffrey Alan Lash, 60, was found inside an SUV last week on July 17. Authorities obtained a search warrant for the victim’s home on the 1700 block of Palisades Drive, where they found more 1,200 firearms stashed.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, police responded to the call at about 5 p.m. Police suspect the Lash’s body had been decomposing for at least two weeks. An autopsy was conducted on Tuesday, July 21 and the cause of death is still unknown, but no indication of foul play was reported.
Inside the victim’s home, police found multiple rifles, handguns, shotguns, more than 2 tons of ammunition, and $230,000. Some of the stashed firearms still had tags on them. An LAPD bomb squad was sent into the home to determine whether it was safe for them to keep searching, and many of the nearby houses were evacuated while the search continued.
Detectives are still investigating whether the guns in the home were registered or not. LAPD Captain William Hayes said the gun collection totaled at least $500,000. The police also found he had 14 registered vehicles to his name, of which they found eight, one of them an SUV that was made to go underwater.
According to the Los Angles Times, Lash told his wife he was an undercover agent for the government and was being watched by them. Catherine Nebron, his fiancé, indicated she didn’t report the death immediately because of her fiancés mysterious lifestyle. He allegedly died on July 4, but Nebron didn’t know what to do with him and left him in his car while she went to Oregon with her employee, Dawn VadBunker, who was reported missing by her parents that same weekend. She thought he would be found, but was surprised to find his body still in the car when she came home from Oregon 10 days later. She then called Harland Braun, a veteran criminal defense attorney who is famous for representing high-profile clients, and together they called the police. Braun is representing Nebron in the case.
“The story itself sounds totally crazy but then how do you explain all this?” Braun said. “There’s no evidence he was a drug dealer or he stole these weapons, or had any criminal source of income, no stolen property, all the stuff you’d look for.”
Neighbors claim they only knew Lash as “Bob” and that they knew he was a gun fanatic. They thought he was dying of cancer, but he had told his fiancée that he had been exposed to a nerve-damaging chemical while on a mission and his condition was deteriorating.
Lash’s family knew little of his whereabouts. Shirley Anderson, longtime girlfriend of Lash’s late father, said he used to study science at UCLA but dropped out. The last time they had heard of him was in 2010, when his father died. Anderson claims that Lash told them not to get in touch with him, because due to his line of work, he could be putting them at risk.