Los Angeles County Coroner’s investigators and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide investigators are reporting that the body of a man found yesterday in the Chantry Flats area of Angeles National Forest is that of Kevin Wolfe Pochter. Pochter was a 55-year old resident of Huntington Beach.
Sheriff’s Homicide investigators had alerted the public that Pochter was a suspect in the shooting death of his long time friend, 53-year old Dean Albert of Arcadia, in Chantry Flats on April 28, 2011. Pochter was considered armed and dangerous.
The massive search for Pochter stretched over 62-miles of rugged terrain and involved patrol deputies from several sheriff’s stations, Mounted Enforcement Detail deputies, K-9’s, sheriff’s reserve deputies on Search and Rescue Teams, U.S. Forest Service rangers, and the Arcadia, Sierra Madre, and Monrovia Police Departments. Of particular assistance was the Sierra Madre Search & Rescue team, which included a large number of dedicated community volunteers.
A member of the public saw the victim’s vehicle on Saturday near Mount Wilson and alerted deputies. He had read about the search for the car and the armed and dangerous suspect in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
On Monday morning, yet another alert member of the public who was hiking in the Chantry Flats area, saw a man who he thought was sleeping and told authorities. Sheriff’s Mounted Enforcement Detail deputies went to the described area and located Pochter, who was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound . A handgun was found near the body.
The second member of the public had read about the wanted suspect in the Pasadena Star News newspaper. He read that the Sheriff’s Department had said he was armed and dangerous, so he wisely did not approach him.
“The two members of the public are directly responsible for the Sheriff’s Department locating the victim’s car and the suspect when we did,” said Captain Mike Parker, Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. “They handled it exactly as asked, and helped to ensure the safety of everyone, without unnecessarily endangering themselves. We extend our thanks to both of them. Futhermore, they received this important information through the news media, whom the Sheriff’s Department works closely with in order to share information to help keep the public informed. We appreciate this partnership in the interest of public safety. This case certainly showed how important it is.”
“We want hikers, area workers and the public to know that no other suspects are being sought in this homicide. The case is closed,” said Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Ray Lugo.