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UPDATE: Death Investigation of Mr. Malcolm Harsch

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DATE/TIME: May 31, 2020/7:07 a.m.   UPDATE:  June 19, 2020
 
INCIDENT:    Death Investigation
 
LOCATION: Homeless encampment between Circle Drive and Victor Street, Victorville
 
VICTIM:         Malcolm Harsch, African American male, 38 years of age
 
SUMMARY:
UPDATE:  June 19, 2020
As the investigation into the death of Malcolm Harsch continued, detectives obtained surveillance video from a vacant building near the location where Mr. Harsch’s body was discovered. The video confirmed the absence of foul play. Detectives also located and met with local family members of Mr. Harsch. The evidence from the case, including the surveillance video, was shown to the family members per their request.
 
Although there remains no sign of foul play, the forensic pathologist is waiting for toxicology results before assigning the cause and manner of death.   
 
On June 19, 2020, the investigation was explained to members of the local media and they were allowed to view evidence from the case, including the surveillance video.
***
On May 31st at 7:07 a.m., Sheriff’s dispatch received a 911 call from a female saying her boyfriend hanged himself. Deputies from the Victorville Police Department and medical aid responded to the vacant lot, which is a dirt field between Circle Drive and Victor Street.     
 
The caller said she and boyfriend, later identified as Malcolm Harsch, had been together during the morning, but she had since returned to her tent for a short period of time. She was alerted by others in the encampment that Mr. Harsch was found hanging from a tree and cut down. People in the encampment were performing CPR, attempting to revive Mr. Harsch. 
 
Upon arrival, deputies immediately took over and continued CPR. Emergency medical personnel arrived on scene a short time later, and despite additional lifesaving efforts, pronounced Mr. Harsch deceased.  
 
A coroner investigator responded to assist with the investigation. A thorough investigation was conducted at the scene to recover any evidence to assist with the investigation. Sheriff’s Department personnel at the scene, including the coroner investigator, did not recover any evidence to suggest foul play.
 
Detectives from the Victorville Police Department are continuing to investigate the death of Mr. Harsch. Detectives have interviewed several people who were at or near the location at the time of the incident.  
 
On May 31st, a coroner investigator attempted to contact the next of kin for Mr. Harsch; however, was unable to reach them. The following day, June 1st, a coroner investigator spoke to the legal next of kin, the wife of Mr. Harsch, informing her of his death.
 
On Friday, June 12th, an autopsy was conducted. Although there remains no sign of foul play, the forensic pathologist is waiting for toxicology results before assigning the cause and manner of death.  
 
Sheriff John McMahon has been in contact with the California Department of Justice – Attorney General’s Division of Law Enforcement and is working in cooperation with them as the investigation continues. Officials from the City of Victorville are aware of the investigation and are working closely with members of the Victorville Police Department.
 
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Victorville Station at (760)241-2911. Callers can remain anonymous and contact WeTip at 800-78CRIME or www.wetip.com.
 
Refer:             Sergeant Steve Allen, Detective Division
 
Station:          Victorville Police Department
 
Phone No.     (760)241-2911
 
Case No.       172004881
 

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