(L.A.) Benjamin Varela, 57, Died at an Encampment

Case Number: 2024-07429

Los Angeles County is reporting the death of a 57-year-old Latino male that occurred at an encampment.

The coroner’s office has identified the man as Benjamin Varela.

STATUS: The decedent’s body is ready to be released. Ruling by the deputy medical examiner is deferred pending additional investigation.

Manner and cause of death will be added to this page when it becomes available.

If the DME has ordered drug screening, the next public update may take three to five months.

RIP BENJAMIN VARELA (March 2, 1967 – May 5, 2024)

Formal pronouncement of death was made on Sunday at 8:14 a.m.

The decedent, along with another deceased man, was discovered inside of a “human-dug” cave in Northridge.

2024-07429 BENJAMIN VARELA 57 Encampment 08:14
2024-07428 JOSE ALEMAN-RIVERA 47 Encampment 08:14


Northridge Hazardous Materials

05-05-2024 10:38am 8700 N Lindley Av

Firefighters arrived to find two deceased persons inside of a human-dug cave/excavation. A white powder substance was observed inside. LAFD now have both Hazardous Materials teams and Urban Search and Rescue specialists on scene to assist with the body recovery. LAPD Incident #1406.

INCIDENT #0673; FS103; Battalion 15; Valley Bureau; Council District 12; Dispatched Units BC15 CM40 CM42 E28 E287 E288 E88 E95 RA70 RA87 RA90 SQ87 SQ95 T87 T88 UR88; Dispatch Channel 8; TAC 17 18

Map views only approximate location and do not indicate the precise spot where the incident happened.

(L.A.) Jose Aleman-Rivera, 47, Died at an Encampment