Body found in Santa Monica Mountains identified as missing man

Five days after he was last seen by his family, Zachary Zernik, 22, of Thousand Oaks was pronounced dead Thursday after his body was found in the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s office.

Zernik was reported missing after failing to show up for work Monday, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said. His vehicle was found Wednesday near a trailhead in Thousand Oaks, prompting a search effort in the Santa Monica Mountains.

On his Instagram page, Zernik described himself as such: “Moorpark College wrestler. Forklift driver. Hard worker.”

In his latest post, he wore jeans and work boots and posed next to a table adorned with the initials of Moorpark College. Comments from friends and mourners trickled in.

In a statement on Twitter, the sheriff’s office said it found Zernik’s body near Boney Mountain around 9 a.m. Thursday. The death appeared to be accidental, “with no evidence of crime or foul play,” the sheriff’s office said.

Zernik’s cause of death is determined by a coroner’s autopsy. Body found in Santa Monica Mountains identified as missing man

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