City releases statement on Rodas death

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The City of Malibu on Thursday released a statement regarding the death of Carlos Ivan Rodas, a kitchen worker at Guido’s restaurant who was found dead outside of the restaurant Sunday night. Original reports from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated Rodas had been shot or beaten to death, but the department now says it believes Rodas died of an upper respiratory illness and not foul play. Below is the statement in full:

Over the last few days, the City has been in constant communication with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department regarding the tragic death of an employee at a local restaurant.  In order to provide clear information and to help alleviate several conflicting reports surrounding the cause of death, the Sheriff’s Department issued a statement that the death appears to be respiratory in nature, but no other specifics have been given.

In the interest of public safety, as well as the need to provide the community with information and the pressure to release information, the Sheriff’s Department provided preliminary assessments based upon witness accounts and the appearance of the scene.  Initial assessments by medical, fire and law enforcement personnel led to the belief that a violent crime may have taken place.  As in many investigations, until all of the evidence has been verified, the cause of death may be modified.  As always, the first concern was for public safety in the actual event this was determined to be a homicide.

The City is disappointed by the confusing and contradictory messages given to the media and public about this tragedy. The City’s goal is to get the most accurate and up to date information before disseminating it to the community.  Public safety and public health are the City’s most important issues and the City is working hard to get the correct facts regarding this incident to allay any fears that may have arisen. The Sheriff’s Department and County Coroner are working diligently to determine the exact cause of death.  The City will continue to collaborate closely with the Sheriff’s Department on communication to the public until the final medical report is issued that will separate the facts from fiction in this very confusing, yet tragic, case.

Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal added, “The City extends our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Rodas’ family and friends during this very difficult time. A young man has died, no matter the circumstances, and we wish to respect the pain and suffering of his loved ones at this time.  I will be working to get as much information as possible about this tragedy and make sure that our residents and community are safe.”