Police have identified the body tied to a tree at Harvard-Westlake School as that of 57-year-old James Ernest Oberg, who was considered to be possibly suicidal and whose family had been searching for him for the past two weeks.
Oberg (see Missing Persons listing here) committed suicide and died from asphyxiation, according to Los Angeles County Coroner investigator Mario Sainz.
The body of Oberg, who had lived in the 3900 block of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, was found Friday morning in a tree across from the main gate of the private school.
It wasn't clear from police reports whether Oberg had hanged himself.
Oberg was last seen on the morning of May 31. Los Angeles police had asked the public for help in finding Oberg, describing him as possibly suicidal and saying his family was extremely concerned for his welfare.
Around 8:18 a.m. Friday, police received a call about a dead body that was discovered on land owned by . On the police scanner, an LAPD officer described the body as "tied up."
Harvard-Westlake students reported in The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle school paper that Jim Crawford, the school's head of security and a former police officer, found the body when he was clearing out brush about 8 a.m. at the property just across from the school's main entrance.
“According to my experience working homicide, it looked like he had been there a couple of days,” Crawford told the Chronicle.
Harvard-Westlake is a prestigious private school located on 22 acres. Among the famous alum from the school are Lovitz, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jason Reitman, Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal and Tori Spelling.