Los Angeles

‘No Evidence' Linking Malibu Creek Shooting to Other Crimes, Police Say

Sheriff's homicide detectives said Friday there is no evidence linking last Friday's fatal shooting of a man at Malibu State Park with earlier crimes, but a possible link has not been ruled out.

Tristan Beaudette, 35, of Irvine, was shot in the head while inside a tent with his two young daughters in the popular campground at Malibu Creek State Park. Detectives have not revealed the exact time of the shooting, but were summoned to the campground at 4:44 a.m. June 22, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Beaudette's killer remains at large, and a motive for the shooting is unknown.

"Homicide detectives are advising at this time there is no evidence to suggest the past shootings are related to the June 22, 2018, homicide,'' the sheriff's department said today in a statement. "However, due to the fact that the motive is unknown, a link between the past shootings and the murder will be explored as part of the homicide investigation.

"Due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to give out details of each incident, but we can provide the dates," the statement said.

The dates of the crimes are as follows:

-- In California State Parks Department jurisdiction, crimes occurred on Nov. 3, 2016; Nov. 9, 2016; Jan. 7, 2017; and July 30, 2017.

-- In sheriff's department jurisdiction, crimes occurred on July 22, 2017; June 6, 2017; and June 18, 2018.

Beaudette, a chemist who worked in the pharmaceutical industry, had been camping with his daughters, ages 2 and 4, who were unharmed. Their mother was reportedly studying for an exam and did not make the trip.

Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter told the Los Angeles Times that Beaudette suffered a gunshot wound to the head and that additional details from the man's autopsy would be made available once a full report is transcribed.

Previous reports indicted Beaudette had been shot in the upper chest.

According to The Times, a man named James Rogers had been hiking the backbone trail and was sleeping on Nov. 3, 2016, in a hammock in Tapia Park just south of where Beaudette was gunned down when he was struck by birdshot from a shotgun.

At least two cars have been hit by gunfire in recent months in Malibu Canyon, near where Beaudette was killed.

Sheriff's homicide detectives said they were aware of the reports, one of which involved a woman who posted video of a bullet hole in her vehicle along with photo of a shotgun slug that she said pierced the tailgate as she slept inside.

On Sunday, Los Angeles television stations reported that a Simi Valley woman and her boyfriend had been sleeping in their car's cargo area last January when it was hit by a large shotgun slug.

On May 16, the lifeless body of a man was found in a ditch, across the road from the Malibu Creek. The coroner's office reported that Francisco Reynaldo Cruz, 52, of Los Angeles, had been killed by "sharp force injuries" to the chest and neck, as well as from a "blunt force injury to the head."

Sheriff's deputies told Malibu radio station KBUU last week that Cruz had been killed somewhere else, and dumped in the isolated canyon.

After Beaudette was discovered shot, the campground was closed as a precaution, but trails in the area, including the paths to the "M*A*S*H" filming site, remained open.

Deputies asked anyone with information on the crime to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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