Sheriff's detectives asked for the public's help Tuesday in the hunt for whoever shot to death a 35-year-old chemist from Irvine in front of his two little girls in a state park campground in Malibu.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department requested information related to the murder of Tristan Beaudette, who was shot and killed on June 22 while camping with his two daughters in Malibu Creek State Park near the 1900 block of Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas, according to a sheriff's department statement.
Beaudette was shot once in the upper chest, according to homicide detectives. No one else was injured and no arrests have been reported. A motive for the shooting is unknown.
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At least two cars have been hit by gunfire in recent months in Malibu Canyon, near where Beaudette was killed. Sheriff's homicide detectives said Monday they were aware of the reports, one of which involved a woman who posted video of a bullet hole in her vehicle along with photo of a shotgun slug that she said pierced the tailgate as she slept inside.
On Sunday, Los Angeles television stations reported that a Simi Valley woman and her boyfriend had been sleeping in their car's cargo area last January when it was hit by a large shotgun slug. Meliss Tatangelo says they were awakened by a "large thump" about 5 a.m., but went back to sleep. Later that morning, they discovered a bullet hole in the back hatch area, and a large shotgun slug rolling around inside the cargo area.
Tatangelo said in a Facebook posting that she drove back to the park, called rangers and had them examine the bullet hole and slug. She said the rangers told her that the slug had been fired at close range into the car.
In a statement released Monday, Deputy Joana Warren said, "homicide detectives are aware there have been other shootings near the location in the past. However, there is no evidence that suggests this incident is related to any prior shootings near the location. The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information that will be released."
On May 16, the lifeless body of a man was found in a ditch, across the road from the Malibu Creek. The coroner's office reported that Francisco Reynaldo Cruz, 52, of Los Angeles, had been killed by "sharp force injuries" to the chest and neck, as well as from a "blunt force injury to the head."
Sheriff's deputies told Malibu radio station KBUU last week that Cruz had been killed somewhere else and dumped in the isolated canyon.
After Beaudette was discovered shot, the campground was closed as a precaution, but trails in the area, including the paths to the "M*A*S*H" filming site, remained open.
Anyone with information on the Beaudette slaying is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.