SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department is asking for the public’s help with details or witnesses regarding a suspicious death. Authorities are also in need of help to locate the next of kin to the victim or anyone who has been in communication with the deceased.

Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the SMPD indicated to Canyon News, the decedent has been identified as John Hautz, an 88 year-old male from Santa Monica.

On January 1, 2018 at about 1:04 p.m., officers responded to a radio call for service in the 2300 block of 34th Street regarding an elderly male who appeared to be unconscious inside of his home. After entering the home, officers discovered the man was deceased.

“Due to the nature of the crime, I cannot provide specific information.  However, I can confirm the deceased suffered traumatic injuries that led us to classifying Mr. Hautz’ death as a homicide,” Lt. Rodriguez told Canyon News via email. He noted detectives have spoken with several neighbors in the area but would like to speak to anyone in the area that may have information on the incident and Mr. Hautz.

SMPD Detectives were notified and conducted a thorough investigation of the crime scene. A preliminary investigation revealed possible suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Hautz. Following a medical examination by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, the death has been classified as a homicide. The investigation is on-going. “The initial call came in from a neighbor that noticed Mr. Hautz and he appeared unconscious,” said Lt. Rodriguez.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8449. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.