Reno man found dead behind Pinecrest residence, cause of death unknown pending autopsy

The body that was found behind a Mammoth home early Monday morning, Sept. 1, has been identified as 29-year-old Robert Scott Barsan of Reno, according to the Mammoth Lakes Police.

The identification of the body, found by a Mammoth resident behind a home on Pinecrest Avenue, was released at about noon on Tuesday, Sept. 2, after Barsan’s next of kin were notified, said Police Chief Dan Watson.

According to Watson, on Monday, Sept. 1, at approximately 6:10 a.m., officers were called to respond to reports of a partially clothed, unresponsive individual behind a residence at Pinecrest Ave. in Mammoth.
Upon arrival, officers found a white male, about 30 years of age, and quickly determined he was deceased.
There was evidence of damage to the remains consistent with animal activity.

Personnel from the California Department of Fish and Game and Mammoth Lakes Wildlife Specialist responded to the scene and do not believe the wildlife involved pose any reason for concern in the community.

The cause of death remains undetermined at this time and will be determined by an autopsy conducted by the Orange County Coroner’s Office, according to Watson, who said Mono County does not perform autopsies, but contracts them to either a mortuary in Bishop or to Orange County.

The death of Barsan was the unfortunate conclusion of a drawn-out series of police and mental health interactions with Barsan during the 24 hours prior to his death, according to police.

On Sunday, Aug. 31 at approximately 3:30 p.m., a Mono County Sheriff’s Deputy contacted a pedestrian matching the description of Barsan north of Bridgeport.

The man, later confirmed to be Barsan, was transported by a Mono County Paramedic unit to Mammoth Hospital where he was evaluated by medical staff and Mono County Behavioral Health.

While at the hospital, Barsan became agitated and uncooperative resulting in a request for a law enforcement response.

Officers from the Mammoth Lakes Police Department and the California Highway Patrol responded and assisted in restraining him.

Barsan subsequently left the hospital voluntarily, refusing care.

Because of privacy laws, the results of his evaluation cannot be released.

At approximately 1:30 a.m., on Sept. 1, Mammoth Lakes Police officers responded to a call from the Sierra Lodge about a man in the parking lot hitting himself in the head with a fire extinguisher taken from the hotel.

Officers responded and found the fire extinguisher, but the individual, now known to be Barsan, was gone.

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department is conducting a death investigation related to the circumstances surrounding the death.

The Mono County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office is coordinating the autopsy, which will determine the cause of death.

Anyone having information is encouraged to contact the Mammoth Lakes Police Department at 760-934-2011.