Skeletal remains were found by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department who investigated reports of a woman allegedly being held against her will while they were cleaning up homeless encampments near the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
Cops cleaning the boardwalk on Friday were told that a woman was being held against her will in a beach tunnel in the 13700 block of Fiji Way, KCBS-TV reported.
An LAPD spokesperson confirmed to DailyMail.com that a ‘Good Samaritan’ had found personal belongings belonging to Kolby Story, 32, and turned them in to police. According to KCBS-TV, cops recovered her checkbook and driver’s license.
Cops said that detectives, along with members of the California Office of Emergency Management, then conducted a search for Story in the nearby Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve and Ballona Creek.
During their search, cops found skeletal remains that will be identified by the L.A. County Coroner. It remains unclear exactly where and how the remains were found.
A dive team also searcher a storm drain at Venice Beach earlier on Friday, KTLA reported.
Police have not confirmed the identity of the remains, and have not said whether they believe they belong to Story.
Story was last seen on December 7 near Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles, cops said. She is described as a 5’4′ white female with brown hair and hazel eyes weighing about 115 pounds.
A ‘Good Samaritan’ had found personal belongings belonging to Kolby Story, 32, and turned them in to police. Story has been missing since December 7
According to KCBS-TV, cops recovered her checkbook and driver’s license
Cops cleaning the boardwalk on Friday were told that a woman was being held against her will in a beach tunnel in the 13700 block of Fiji Way
Cops then conducted a search for Story in the nearby Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve
Kolby’s older brother Josh Story told Patch that her family wants her to be found.
‘It’s tough, the unknown and just every day is we feel like it’s getting tougher and tougher,’ he said.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Josh Story for more information and additional comment about Friday’s revelations.
Josh Story told NBC News in December that his sister had been near the Venice Beach skate park with her boyfriend and another friend in the afternoon on December 6.
Later that night, she later grabbed a sleeping bag, backpack and a ukulele while telling her roommate she was going to the beach to hang out, Josh Story said. Kolby reportedly told her father the same thing.
Then around 10:30 p.m., Kolby reportedly called a friend to help find her car keys – ultimately finding them about 20 minutes later, Josh Story told NBC News. The name of the friend was not revealed.
Josh Story told the outlet that Kolby’s friend told him that he had tried to get her to leave the beach, claiming it wasn’t safe.
‘It was dark and getting cold. But she told him to go home and that she would be fine,’ Josh Story said.
Josh Story said Kolby’s friend waited in his car nearby and that she finally decided to leave the beach at 2 a.m. and got into her car parked near a restaurant called Big Daddy’s Pizza.
A cyclist passes a homeless encampment along the bike path in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles on July 7
Homeless encampments are seen along the bike path in the shadow of condominiums in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles on July 7, which the city has been working to clean in recent weeks
A security officer with City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks looks for areas to place notices warning homeless of a clean-up on July 9
Kolby’s friend followed her until she turned off in the direction of her home, Josh Story told NBC News.
‘That’s the last time anyone saw her,’ he said.
The car was later found in a police impound lot in Marina del Rey with a flat tire after it had been towed from a parking lot across from the Ralph’s grocery store near the Bellona Wetlands.
‘It would make sense that she got a flat and then called someone to come get her,’ he said.
‘But there were no outgoing calls on her phone records – so who came to get her? And that’s where it ends. We have nothing after that. And it’s alarming. We’re just very worried about her.’
Kolby Story, right, has been missing since December and was last seen after taking her ukulele and a sleeping bag to the beach
Her car was later found in a police impound lot in Marina del Rey with a flat tire after it had been towed from a parking lot across from the Ralph’s grocery store near the Bellona Wetlands
In February, Allison Story made a post to Facebook showing that the family would be holding an event to honor Kolby’s birthday on March 16
Josh Story added that phone records show Kolby’s friend made four unanswered calls to her between 2 a.m. and 8:45 a.m.
Kolby’s friend reported her missing to the Los Angeles Police Department two days later on December 9, NBC News reported. His family was not told Kolby was missing until her friend reached out to him on social media on December 16.
‘It’s just frustrating,’ he said. ‘My sister is missing and no one tells us.’
After her disappearance, her family hung fliers and conducted their own search.
In February, Allison Story made a post to Facebook showing that the family would be holding an event to honor Kolby’s birthday on March 16.
‘Although we haven’t found Kolby we would like to take this time to share stories of our beautiful Kolby and any words of encouragement as we continue to search for her,’ the post reads.
A bulldozer on the boardwalk drives past homeless encampments amid an operation to remove homeless encampments from the beach front in Venice Beach
Sanitation workers remove trash near homeless encampments at the Venice Beach Boardwalk ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend
Outreach workers had been able to persuade dozens of homeless people camped on the boardwalk to move into shelters earlier this month before sanitation workers swept in to clear out the debris
Dixie Moore (back to camera), who has been living in a tent encampment along the Venice Beach Boardwalk, hugs her friend Brian after they finished packing up their belongs so they can move to short-term housing in a nearby hotel
A homeless woman sleeps on the beach amid an operation to remove homeless encampments from the beach front in Venice Beach earlier this month
Amid preparations for the crackdown, pictures also showed officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) arresting a man, who is believed to be homeless, along the Ocean Front Walk on Wednesday
Kolby’s Facebook account shows that she apparently made a post as recently as May 6, though the odd post only included spam-like videos of obese people posted to an album called ‘Healthy Diet.’
Los Angeles officials have been working for weeks to clean up homeless encampments in Venice Beach.
According to KCBS-TV, authorities had set a deadline of 7 a.m. Friday to clear out ‘Zone 5’ of the encampments along Ocean Front Walk between Navy Street and Rose Avenue after postponing them from July 9.
A homeless man was filmed getting attacked in Venice Beach by two unidentified women who appeared to accuse him of touching their breasts
The woman was seen repeatedly pummeling the homeless man while he sat on the ground
Mike Bonin, a member of the city council, told the outlet on Thursday that 118 homeless people have been moved into shelters while waiting to be placed in more permanent housing as a part of his ‘Encampment to Home’ program.
The city’s sanitation workers have been moving in and cleaning out belongings left behind.
The city has allocated $5 million for the project, providing vouchers to landlords willing to house those who had been homeless. While waiting for permanent housing, the homeless residents have been given temporary housing in motels.
The project is estimated to be completed by the end of the month, with city workers completing the remaining zones over the next two weeks.
Workers from St. Joseph Center housing association and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority offered shelter to the homeless people, many of whom refused to leave and required hours of negotiation before budging.
Homelessness has DOUBLED in LA in past five years as the city struggles to combat the humanitarian crisis
Los Angeles has been ravaged by its homeless crisis for the last decade, with the number of homeless people rising steadily from around 40,000 in 2011.
In the last year, homelessness increased by 12.7 per cent in LA County because there aren’t enough homes people can afford, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
More than 63,000 people are homeless in LA County, the authority reports.
The issue is most visible in downtown LA, where hundreds of people live in makeshift shanties that line entire blocks in the notorious neighborhood known as Skid Row.
Tents regularly pop up on the pavement outside City Hall and encampments are increasingly found in suburban areas under freeway overpasses.
In 2015, City Council members and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that they would declare an emergency locally.
However the proposal was abandoned because the mayor wanted a statewide declaration from then California Governor Jerry Brown, who refused the request.
Four years ago, LA voters then approved a tax hike and $1.2 billion housing bond to channel investments into helping solve the homeless crisis.
That bond money has so far been used to build more than half of the 10,000 new housing units planned countywide over 10 years – but housing is still in short supply.
In 2018, LA declared a shelter crisis, which reduced construction hurdles around developing emergency beds on public land.
Then in 2019, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and City Councilman Joe Buscaino put forward a proposal calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency over the crisis – a call that never materialized.
Homelessness has been a growing concern in Los Angeles in recent years, but the fallout of the pandemic triggered a wave of homelessness that has resulted in hundreds of tents and makeshift encampments lining the sidewalks and parks of Venice beach.
The cleanup of the homeless encampment comes just days after the Los Angeles City Council voted to draft rules prohibiting people from sleeping specific distances from some public areas.
The measure requires a second vote in late July, and instructs that homeless people must not be arrested during the rehousing scheme unless a crime is committed, in an attempt to take a more humanitarian approach to the problem.
Fox News reported that Venice had a 132% increase in assaults in which a homeless person was a suspect in 2021 and a 126% increase in cases in which a homeless person was a victim as of the end of May.
Meanwhile, robberies in which a homeless person was the victim increased by 1,100% while robberies in which homeless person was a suspect increased by 160%.
Felony arrests in the area have increased by 81% so far this year, while homeless has doubled to around 15,000 in the past five years.
In one video that went viral, a homeless man was filmed getting attacked in Venice Beach by two unidentified women who appeared to accuse him of touching their breasts.
During the video, one of the women shouts while pummeling the man: ‘You ugly b***h. We hate you. Go on! Touch me in my goddamn t***ies, b***h.’ Further details about the incident were not immediately clear.
The video came as concerns have grown from cops, neighbors and businesses have grown in the months since tent encampments expanded on the beach.
According to Fox News, a homeless man was found dead in his tent on the boardwalk last while and another homeless man was arrested in connection with the killing.
Photos taken in recent weeks show sanitation workers removing piles and piles of trash from the beach left there by the homeless.
‘(Residents) want to be able to use their parks and their sidewalks and their libraries,’ Councilman Paul Krekorian, who coauthored the measure restricting the locations of homeless camps, told the LA Times.
‘They want to be able to go into the entrance of their business. They want to be able to know that when they pull into a parking lot, they don’t have to worry about running someone over when they’re going through the driveway.’
However critics slammed the move as ‘reckless’, and demanded to know where the homeless people were expected to go after they were moved on from their current camps.