Authorities have yet to officially confirm the identity of the man whose remains were found in a car parked in Pacific Palisades last Friday, but an attorney who says he represents the deceased’s longtime partner tells reporters that the man is Jeffrey Alan Lash.
Lash had died two weeks before his body was found in a car on Friday, police sources told local media, not far from his condo in an affluent Los Angeles County neighborhood where authorities later found upwards of $1 million in firearms.
Attorney Harland Braun told the NBC News affiliate in LA that his client, Catherine Nebron, had been engaged to Lash for the last 17 years, and that the two had shared the residence.
Lash became ill in the parking lot of a Santa Monica grocery store on July 4, the attorney said, and he died soon after despite the efforts from Ms. Nebron and two friends to resuscitate the man.
He had been suffering from late-stage cancer and refused professional medical attention, the lawyer said.
“He basically went into some kind of seizure,” Mr. Braun told the station. “They worked on him for three hours, trying to revive him and then he died.”
Ms. Nebron then drove the car back to Pacific Palisades, parked it near their residence and then fled to Oregon with her friends, the attorney said. She did not alert authorities, her lawyer said, because she was under the impression that Mr. Lash was secretly working as an undercover operative for an unnamed government agency and figured the feds would soon enough recover the body.
Ms. Nebron returned from Oregon a week-and-a-half later, her attorney said, and was surprised to see her partner’s remains still inside the car. She then alerted Mr. Braun, who in turn informed the authorities.
“It does not make any sense, but it’s probably a continuation of this fantasy world where he is a secret man. … He is supposed to not reveal who he really is,” Mr. Braun told the NBC affiliate.
Neighbors of the couple told the Los Angeles Times that Lash had identified himself to others as “Bob Smith” and had claimed to have worked for either the FBI or CIA.
“He’ll say crazy things to people like he does night missions swimming to Catalina,” one of Lash’s neighbors, who asked not to be identified, told the LA Times. “He would come … and tell us he would show us self-defense moves.”
Others, however, say Lash’s real profession was out of this world. The mother of one of Ms. Nebron’s friends said on Wednesday this week that she has not heard from her daughter since the day of Mr. Lash’s death, and that she was aware of the eccentric recluse because she had heard he was part extraterrestrial.
Dawn VadBunker, the friend, and Ms. Nebron both believed that Lash was an alien “sent to earth to protect us,” the mother told KTLA News this week.
“I can’t believe this,” Laura VadBunker said. “It’s worse than a ‘Twilight Zone’ movie, and we’ve lived through hell.”
KTLA reported that the mother said her daughter and her friend believed Lash was a secret government agent who “was part alien and part human and was out to save the world.”
Police found more than 1,200 guns, 6.5 tons of ammunition, bows and arrows, knives and $230,000 in cash inside Lash’s house last week. The Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating his death.