Missing Man Found Dead on Santa Cruz Island
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
A 23-year-old man, Christopher Anthony Mondiek from Dublin OH, was found deceased this morning on the beach at Yellowbanks Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island within Channel Islands National Park.
Search and rescue crews made the discovery shortly after 8:00 am. Investigators believe his death was caused by a fall from one of the cliffs.
On Sunday, December 16, 2012 the National Park Service was notified by park concessioner Island Packers, that Mondiek had not returned from an overnight trip to Santa Cruz Island. Park staff began searching on Sunday, but was not able to locate Mondiek.
On Monday, December 17, 2012, the National Park Service requested assistance with the search from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. A helicopter was sent to the island, but was soon turned back due to stormy conditions.
Search and rescue crews responded back to the island Tuesday morning ultimately making the discovery of Mondiek's body on the beach below a steep cliff.
The deceased's body was brought back via boat to the Ventura Harbor where coroner's detectives from the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office took possession of it.
The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office will handle the investigation as Coroner detectives determine the exact circumstances of the death. Initial information suggests the death may have been accidental.
Did You Know?
The only reptile found on Santa Barbara Island is the endemic and threatened island night lizard. These lizards can live up to 20 years or more, but once established in a territory generally remain within a 3-meter radius their entire life.