Body found in Montecito not far from where car belonging to missing LA County fire captain was spotted

MONTECITO, Calif. (KABC) -- A man's body was found Saturday in a Santa Barbara County canyon not far from where a vehicle belonging to a missing Los Angeles County Fire Department captain was spotted.

Around 2 p.m. Friday, Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies responded to the area of the Hot Springs trailhead in Montecito on reports of a suspicious vehicle near the start of the trail that had been there since Monday.

The man who was in the vehicle was last seen walking up the trailhead, authorities said. The vehicle was registered to 43-year-old Wayne Habell, of Newhall, who was reported missing earlier in the week.

Search teams scoured the area to find him, but could not locate Habell before it got dark. The search was halted and then resumed in the early morning hours of Saturday.

Around 6 p.m., search teams found a man's body in a canyon. The body was taken to the Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office for further investigation.

Authorities could not confirm that the body was Habell.

The identification of the body and cause of death will be determined by the coroner.

The investigation is ongoing.
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