The body of 75-year-old man sat decomposing on his Marina del Rey balcony for days because neighbors thought the lifeless figure was part of a Halloween display and didn’t call police.
Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed had apparently been dead since Monday with a single gunshot wound to one eye. He was slumped over a chair on the third-floor balcony of his apartment on Bora Bora Way, said cameraman Austin Raishbrook, who owns RMG News and was on the scene Thursday when authorities were alerted to the body.
Neighbors told Raishbrook that they noticed the body Monday “but didn’t bother calling authorities because it looked like a Halloween dummy,” he said.
“The body was in plain view of the entire apartment complex [and] they all didn’t do anything,” Raishbrook said. “It’s very strange. It did look unreal, to be honest.”
An investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the case is an “apparent suicide,” and declined to comment further.
Earl Kepler, a UPS executive visiting from the Washington, D.C., area, said the complex seemed “a little lonely,” with few people out and about. He wasn’t surprised to hear that the dead man went undiscovered for a few days.
“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of community involvement,” he said.
“Not a lot of community involvement?” You think so, eh?