Lost Hills Deputy Mourned After Sudden Death

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LASD Deputy Michael Churney pictured with a miniature therapy horse 

LASD Deputy Michael Churney, a motorcycle officer with the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station for more than a decade, died while off duty last Wednesday night, March 17, after what the LA County Sheriff’s Department described as a sudden illness. He was 44. 

Churney, a Santa Clarita resident, died at Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia, where he was being cared for in the intensive care unit. There were no further details available regarding Churney’s cause of death.

Following the announcement, social media posts from the sheriff’s department, Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station and Malibu Search and Rescue Team were flooded with remembrances and condolences for the motorcycle officer, who left behind a wife and five-year-old son.

“RIP Mike,” one commenter wrote, describing the deputy as “truly one of the most genuine life loving people I’ve ever met.”

Churney was also memorialized with a procession of county sheriff’s deputies and fire department personnel on Saturday as his body was moved from Henry Mayo Hospital to its final resting place.

According to a statement from the Malibu/Lost Hills Station, Churney was well known for his “good conversation and laughs” as well as technical expertise on the Motorcycle Unit.

“He could always be relied upon at our station and also assisted other stations with their motor operations,” the station statement said. The statement detailed Churney’s career, which began with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at Lost Hills Station in 1996, before the officer departed to work for some time at Men’s Central Jail and Court Services West. Thirteen years ago, in 2008, Churney returned to the Lost Hills Station, where he worked ever since.

“Mike, you will be dearly missed,” the station’s statement concluded. “We will never forget your dedication to your family, our department, and the residents of Los Angeles County. Rest in Peace, Sir, we will take it from here.”