Body of missing Santa Maria teen found in Nipomo

March 19, 2016

Ivan Nunez

The body of missing Santa Maria teen Ivan Nunez was discovered hanging from an abandoned structure near Range Place and Orchard road in Nipomo on Feb. 17, and was identified Friday, according to the San Maria Police Department. The death appears to be a suicide.

On the day he went missing, Dec. 26, the 16-year-old was celebrating his birthday party. After laughing and dancing with friends and family, Nunez walked out the front door and never returned.

Because the body had been exposed to the elements for several months, finger prints could not be used. Deputies used DNA evidence to identify the remains.

Nunez’ disappearance prompted candlelight vigils and local search efforts.


This was NO suicide, it is a gang related crime, but remember..missing from Santa Maria but found in Nipomo. Ian will tell you SLO County has no gangs or a problem.


I am very sorry to this boy’s family. As a mother, I am in pain for his mother. While she knows where he is now, she doesn’t know what happened. From what I have read and from the small town that this is, I have “heard” that the family doesn’t believe he committed suicide. He had bruises on his face the day he went missing, and may have gotten involved with some bad people/things. It does seem strange that he would hang himself in an abandoned structure. I think he could have gone there “to party” with the wrong crowd and didn’t make it out. I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right.

I hope this is fully investigated so that no matter the outcome, this family has some level of peace and closure.


Condolences to the family of Ivan. I hope you find peace in this terrible time.


Tragic story. My heart goes out to the family. At least they have closure, but may never know why.