The Santa Clarita Valley community is in shock today after learning that David Duncan, 18, was found dead in a residential neighborhood in Frazier Park.
According to Sgt. Mark Brown of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, a neighbor reported the incident at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Monday after discovering a body laying in his yard.
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The cause of death is not known, though cold weather conditions could be a factor. The Kern County Coroner's office is conducting an autopsy.
“This will require a medical conclusion I can’t make, but it was really bad weather the night before,” said Brown. “It snowed pretty hard on Sunday night.”
Duncan, a senior at Valencia High School, lived with his family in the mountain town of Frazier Park. Located west of Interstate 5 north of Gorman, the small community is woven together by several dirt roads, which are often caked in snow.
“He wasn’t in a wooded area. He was in a residential area. It’s not a heavily populated neighborhood, but it is a neighborhood,” said Brown. “There was nothing suspicious about it except for the fact that the man was so young.”
On Tuesday, all of Valencia High School was in mourning, with most students learning about the tragedy over the school’s morning announcements.
Duncan’s parents, David and Lisa, are both teachers at the school.
“He was a very gregarious and outgoing young man,” said Principal Paul Priesz. “A lot of students knew him and liked him.”
Throughout the day, friends and family members left heartfelt comments on Duncan’s Facebook page. Another page encouraged Valencia High School students to wear purple and gold – the school’s colors – in memorial.
“It’s very odd and it’s very sad,” said Brown. “It’s always sad when you find a young person and they’re not sick. There’s no reason they should be dead.”