Saturday, May 18, 2024

Body found in Santa Monica Mountains identified as missing person Zachary Zernik, 22

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Five days after he was last seen by family, Zachary Zernik, 22, of Thousand Oaks was confirmed dead Thursday after his body was found in the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Zernik was reported missing after failing to show up for work Monday, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said. His vehicle was located Wednesday near a trailhead in Thousand Oaks, leading to search efforts in the Santa Monica Mountains.

On his Instagram page, Zernik described himself as such: “Moorpark College Wrestler. Forklift driver. Hard worker.”

In his most recent post, he wore jeans and work boots and posed next to a table embellished with Moorpark College’s initials. Comments from friends and mourners trickled in.

In a statement on Twitter, the Sheriff’s Office said it found Zernik’s body around 9 a.m. Thursday near Boney Mountain. The death appeared accidental, with “no evidence of crime or foul play,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Zernik’s cause of death will be determined by an autopsy by the medical examiner’s office.

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