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Coroner Still Not Sure Body Found In Canyon Is Los Angeles Man

MelvinGelfandBy Leon Worden/

While signs point to 88-year-old Melvin Gelfand of Los Angeles as the victim, coroner’s officials still have not positively identified the body found Thursday evening in a ravine off of Lake Hughes Road.

“That’s who it looks like, based on the vehicle,” an investigator with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said late Sunday afternoon. “We’re still working on fingerprints and dental records and that sort of thing.”

Gelfand was identified as the owner of a car that went off the road north of Castaic sometime before Sept. 23, when 66-year-old David Lavau of Lake Hughes went over the same cliff. Lavau’s Toyota landed next to another Toyota with a body inside. Officials said it was too decomposed for a visual identification.

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Gelfand was reported missing from his home near the 405-10 Freeway interchange, 50 miles south of the crash site, on Feb. 15. Relatives said they believed he was headed to a casino in San Diego County.