Investigation Launched After Remains of Missing Person Found in Malibu

Julia Christine Snyder

A 12-day missing person investigation ended in tragedy last week after a local woman’s remains were discovered in the area where she was first reported missing.

Julia Christine Snyder, a 53-year-old Malibu woman, was being mourned across the city and remembered by friends who posted social media tributes as a “loving and kind soul,” an “amazing, sweet, lovely lady” who was “as beautiful inside as outside.”

An investigation was ongoing Tuesday, Feb. 25, following the discovery of Snyder’s body on Feb. 19 on the 4300 block of Ocean View Drive in Latigo Canyon.

Little information was available from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials by the time The Malibu Times went to print; when asked for information regarding the investigation into Snyder’s death, the sheriff’s information bureau sent a press release that did not confirm Snyder’s identity. The release read, “Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives are responding to the death of a female adult.”

Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials also were not able to provide much info on the ongoing investigation.

“We are investigating the death; however, law enforcement placed a security code on the case,” coroner’s department spokesperson Sarah Ardalani said when asked about the investigation into Snyder’s disappearance and death. Ardalani confirmed Snyder’s date of birth in 1966 and death as Feb. 19, 2020.

Multiple news agencies reported Snyder’s body was found in the crawl space beneath a home belonging to a relative; however, no official sources verified the information to The Malibu Times. The discovery came just days after LASD Homicide Bureau detectives, in conjunction with numerous sheriff’s Search and Rescue teams from around LA County, conducted a “full scale search” of Latigo Canyon in Malibu on Saturday, Feb. 15, according to Malibu Search and Rescue Team Leader David Katz, but Snyder was not found.

“It’s disappointing whenever you don’t locate somebody,” Katz told The Malibu Times at the time. “We have no idea whether she’s in the search area. We did as thorough a search as we could do with the information, or lack of information, that we had.”

On Feb. 11, the LASD reported 53-year-old Snyder as a “critical missing person.” She was last seen outside her residence wearing a white shirt and flannel pajama pants on the evening of Feb. 8.

According to LASD, Snyder was without her medication for bipolar disorder. The sheriff’s department posted an updated photo of Snyder with blonde hair—the previously posted photo depicted Snyder with brown hair. Snyder was described as 5’7” and 140 lbs.

Flora Adamian contributed to this reporting.