Jeffrey Alan Lash was found dead in his SUV near his home in Los Angeles, where he kept thousands of firearms, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, and incredible amounts of ammunition. Lash had told his fiancee that he was an undercover agent for the government. Believing this agency would recover his body, Catherine Nebron didn’t report his death but went on a trip to Oregon instead. Here’s what we know so far.
1. Lash Claimed to Work Undercover for a Secret Government Agency
Lash, 60, had told his fiancee of 17 years, Nebron, that he worked undercover for the government and was under constant surveillance, according to the Los Angeles Times. Neighbors said that he just referred to himself as “Bob Smith” and told them he worked for a government agency like the FBI or CIA. He told similar stories to neighbors at his previous residence in Sunset Mesa, which he left four months ago, according to the Palisadian-Post. The apartment manager told the Post that Lash always dressed in black and acted paranoid, checking out rooms before he entered.
Lash’s stories about his covert missions ranged from saying that he did night missions, like swimming to Catalina, to telling stories about getting shot in the head and being in a coma for a long time. However, other people have more creative interpretations about the truth behind Lash’s story. Dawn VadBunker, an employee of Nebron’s who went with her to Oregon, claimed Lash was an alien-human hybrid, KTLA reported.
2. His Fiancee Did Not Report His Death, but Police Don’t Suspect Foul Play
The fiancee and at least one friend were with Lash in the parking lot of Bristol Farms in Santa Monica when Lash said he was feeling sick, the fiancee’s attorney, Harland Braun, told the Los Angeles Times. Their attempts to cool him with ice after he refused to let them call 911 didn’t work and Lash died. Thinking the government agency that Lash worked for would retrieve his body, Nebron just left the car and Lash’s body parked on Palisades Drive and went on a trip to Oregon. She was shocked to return and find his body still there. The Los Angeles said that it does not suspect foul play in Lash’s death, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In a strange twist, VadBunker, who went with Nebron to Oregon, did not return with her. The Oxnard Police launched a missing person investigation for VadBunker and found her safe in Oregon, refusing to contact her family, KTLA reported.
3. Lash Owned Thousands of Firearms and 14 Specially Equipped Cars, Among Other Strange and Unusual Items
Lash lived with his fiancee in Pacific Palisades, where police found more than 1,200 firearms and two tons of ammunition. Lash’s firearms collection was worth anywhere from $500,000 to more than $1 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. Nebron’s lawyer claimed the guns were worth more than $5 million, according to KTLA. He also had bows and arrows, knives, $230,000 in cash, and 14 cars registered to his name, The Associated Press reported. One of those vehicles was an SUV designed to be driven underwater. Other cars were modified to be combat ready, KTLA reported.
Prior to living his Pacific Palisades, Lash lived in Sunset Mesa for 10 years with a roommate named Jocelyn. The two-bedroom, two-bath apartment cost $3,700 a month, the Palisadian-Post reported. While there, he got in a wreck and damaged four cars, later paying off the damages himself. His Sunset Mesa property manager said that Lash drove a new vehicle almost every month and never had license plates.
4. Lash’s Cause of Death is Unknown, but He was Suffering Late-Stage Cancer
The coroner has not yet discovered a cause of death, the Los Angeles Times reported. The body was severely decomposed since the police weren’t notified until almost two weeks after his death. Lash was, however, suffering from late-stage cancer, according to the Los Angeles police. The property manager for Lash’s previous home in Sunset Mesa told the Palisadian-Post that his health was deteriorating to the point that he could barely get up or down the stairs, so his roommate suggested four months ago that he find a place that was more accessible. Nebron’s attorney said that Lash claimed his condition was from nerve-damaging chemicals he was exposed to on a mission, The Associated Press reported.
5. No One Knows How Lash Accumulated His Wealth
Shirley Anderson, Lash’s late father’s significant other, told the Los Angeles Times that she hadn’t seen Lash since 2010 and didn’t know how he made his money. Lash was raised modestly in Westchester by a pianist mother and a microbiologist father. Lash was enrolled at UCLA and studying to become a scientist when he dropped out of school. Additional details about his record were not available because he had requested that UCLA keep his records private.
No one seemed to know how Lash amassed his wealth. Not only did Anderson have no idea, but Lash’s property manager told the Palisadian-Post that he was tempted to believe his CIA story due to all the money he had. Nebron’s attorney told the Associated Press that there was no evidence that Lash was a drug dealer or had any source of criminal income.