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Police ID body found near landfill as missing Palos Verde man

The body of a missing 57-year-old Rancho Palos Verdes man was discovered Monday near his car on a hillside near Scholl Canyon Landfill.

February 07, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

NORTH GLENDALE — The body of a missing 57-year-old Rancho Palos Verdes man was discovered Monday near his car on a hillside near Scholl Canyon Landfill.

Yoshiya Watanabe, 57, who suffers from diabetes and dementia, was reported missing about 9:30 a.m. Thursday after his son noticed that his Mercedes-Benz wasn’t at their home, authorities said.

Watanabe’s son was reportedly at the scene as officials tried to identify the body, which was found about noon on a hillside just east of the Scholl Canyon Landfill, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

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The condition of the body was unknown, and authorities were working to determine a cause of death. An investigation into the circumstances of Watanabe’s disappearance is also ongoing.

“We want to make sure there was no foul play involved,” Lorenz said.

Glendale officers, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials and police dogs searched Scholl and Chevy Chase canyons Monday for Watanabe after having to suspend the search overnight because it was too dark.

A Glendale hiker on Sunday spotted the Mercedes sedan parked on a dirt road along the canyons and reported it to police.

Watanabe and his family do not have ties to Glendale, Lorenz said.

“They have no idea who or why he would end up in that part of the county,” he added.

Sheriff’s officials said Watanabe also suffered from seizures and hypertension.

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