A 63-year-old man was found dead and battered at the base of Cerro San Luis near Lincoln and Mountain View streets on Oct. 23, and police said they are investigating the death as a possible homicide.
A man on a frequently-traveled hiking path spotted the body, identified Monday as Charles Lavenson, between 4 and 5 p.m., according to San Luis Obispo Police Lieutenant Jeff Smith.
Smith said San Luis Obispo police arrived on the scene shortly after 5 p.m. and discovered Lavenson’s body with injuries to the head and face.
Lavenson, a San Luis Obispo resident known to frequent local hiking trails, was found wearing khaki pants and a button-up, short-sleeve shirt, Smith said. Police found a plastic key to a hotel or motel room in one of his pockets.
Although Lavenson’s body was discovered in the City of San Luis Obispo, parts of Cerro San Luis comprise county land, which led to uncertainty at the time of the 911 call as to whether Lavenson’s body was lying in city or county property. Some confusion occurred between the police and sheriff’s departments, Police Lietenant Keith Storton said.
“I think the first day there was an issue trying to determine the location on the mountain,” Storton said.
But, Storton said the initial confusion did not hinder the investigation.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Rob Bryn said any reports of significant delay in response time due to jurisdictional confusion are “totally erroneous.”
The San Luis Obispo police log shows that the police department received the 911 call at 4:53 p.m., and police arrived on scene at 5:09 p.m. The log also shows that the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department was contacted at 4:53 p.m,. and sheriff’s deputies arrived at 4:59 p.m.
Bryn said, however, that the deputies arrived after the police.
“I think we tailed them in or shortly thereafter,” Bryn said. “Everybody goes, and we worry about it later.”