Authorities identified the body discovered Friday, Jan. 6, in the Town Center parking garage as Travis Peterson, a Los Angeles filmmaker who was reported missing on Dec. 30. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide, according to multiple news reports.
According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department, homicide detectives responded to the 900 block of Foothill Boulevard after receiving a call at 7:25 p.m. that an adult male was found dead. The body was discovered in a car that was described as a light-colored Volvo, matching the description of Peterson’s vehicle.
On Sunday, Peterson’s wife, Emilie Halpern, posted a statement on Instagram: “Travis has been found. I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone who shared information and searched for him. He was found because of his friends. This is a devastating loss and we are all heartbroken.”
In addition to authorities, friends, family members and colleagues spread the news of Peterson’s disappearance on social media before the discovery of his body.
Peterson, 40, was known for directing music videos for artists such as Ariel Pink, Nite Jewel, Glass Candy and Vivian Girls. He also covered the recent U.S. presidential election for the BBC.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Peterson left a voicemail to Halpern at 2 p.m. on Dec. 29. The Los Angeles Police Department reported that Peterson was last seen on Dec. 30 at the 76 gas station in the 1500 block of Foothill Boulevard, where he reportedly purchased a bottle of water.
On Jan. 3, authorities sent a helicopter to search the area where he might have been driving. On Jan. 6, Montrose Search and Rescue reported looking for him in numerous areas within the Angeles National Forest.
Authorities, who reportedly identified Peterson by his driver’s license, suggested that he died Friday because his car radio was on when his body was discovered, but they could not account for his whereabouts before then.
“That’s the mystery; we don’t know,” Sgt. Jerry Montenegro told the Times.