Missing man found shot to death

California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene and initially thought the death to be traffic related. Once the body was examined, the death was ruled a homicide. (Photo by ED FROMMER)

California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene and initially thought the death to be traffic related. Once the body was examined, the death was ruled a homicide. (Photo by ED FROMMER)

LANCASTER – A 47-year-old Lancaster man who went missing Sunday after riding out to the desert on his all-terrain vehicle was found dead Monday morning, authorities said.

Stephen Finson suffered a gunshot wound and he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. Read it below:

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of a man that was discovered at 8:58 a.m., Monday, February 24, 2014, in the 13300 block of East Avenue H, Lancaster.

Detectives have learned that deputies from the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station responded to the area in search of a missing person.

The victim’s family reported the victim missing at about 1:00 a.m. today (2/24/14), after he failed to return from the desert on his all-terrain cycle (ATC).

He had last been seen by family members on the afternoon of Sunday, February 23, 2014.

During the search, the victim was found laying on the ground near his ATC. It was determined he had suffered a gunshot wound and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim has been identified as 47 year-old Stephen Finson, a resident of Lancaster.

There is no suspect information and this is an on-going investigation. There is no further information at this time.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

UPDATED 4/16/14: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is offering a $10,000 reward  in exchange for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for Finson’s murder. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact homicide investigators Q. Rodriguez and Robert Martindale at 323-890-5500.

  32 comments for “Missing man found shot to death

  1. chuckie g
    May 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Av was a great and safe place to raise a family, until these shaved head tatted crime ridden san Fernando gang bangers moved up here. Our courts decided to send these punks up here to give them a fresh start. Thank you. Pack up people and move, the AV is the new san Fernando and Compton.

  2. Loretta Almodovar
    March 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    My son played baseball with the son of Steven Finson and my family and I adored Steve. Steve was a great man the nicest man you would or could have ever known. My heart goes out to him and his family and I hope that this person who shot Steve is caught. What a COWARD!

  3. jkvl
    February 26, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I lived out close to were this happened I’m so sorry to hear about this in my back yard my prayers go out to the family and friends!! I been riding dirt bikes in this desert all my life I have a track in my back yard it is scary to know someone a shooting people having fun riding in the desert minding there own business.. hope they find the coward who ever did this!

    • tke
      February 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      I ride our desert area too and always seem to roll up on some one in the middle of nowhere doing something sketchy and wondered if anyone would take pot shots at the guy racing by. So when can I come by any try out your track?

  4. Me
    February 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    It was an addict who pulled the trigger not knowing what he had done, and when he heard, he has went into hiding… Scared

    • Really?
      February 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      And you know this how?

    • fed up in Lancaster
      February 27, 2014 at 7:35 am

      So your put your name as me, followed with a description of what happened. Are you the shooter?

  5. Adam James Elliott
    February 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Steve was an ol school chum of mine who I have fond memories of. I remember he was always a joy to be around. His older brother was someone we looked up to and I remember feeling so sorry and sad when Steve lost him to a tragic dirt bike accident.
    We always think there is going to be time but hen it goes by so quickly in the lives we lead that when something like this happens so unexpected it leaves me with sad regret that I didn’t make time to come to one of those east side school reunions. Even though i haven’t seen Steve in years, I am going to miss him. I wish his family and loved ones well and hope they take solace in the fact that while he was with us we could smile and know laughter

  6. Doug Beam
    February 26, 2014 at 10:47 am

    This is a terrible thing to happen to such a great guy. Steve recently expressed to me how he enjoyed living out there and being able to ride his ATV whenever he wanted. Just worked with him last week. Prayers and blessings to his family and children. What a shame to lose such a great guy. God Bless

  7. CforUS
    February 26, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Probably a case of wrong trail at the wrong time. Then again it may have been some duche fooling around with a rifle and did something stupid. Just a thought. Somewhere there’s got to be a trail, footprint, or a spent shell laying on the ground. The problem with the desert is there is so much ground to cover to look for evidence.

  8. Frank Smith
    February 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Most likely it was people running a meth lab who did this.

    This sort of problem could be solved in a week.

    Get a couple of SWAT teams, and an armored personnel carrier, with a couple of
    helicopters in the air, and go from one trailer to the next and round up the scum.
    Sure, some of the idiots will resist. That’s when the armored personnel carrier
    shows up and runs over their trailer while they are still inside. No mercy, no quarter,
    no problem.

    • red
      February 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      The last shooting was Christian to Christian so maybe the SWAT team can raid LBC, some might resist but we can take them.

      • Disgusted
        February 25, 2014 at 11:03 pm

        Sounds like someone has some pent up angst about something that has nothing to do with this story? Meanwhile a family mourns a loved one and you make a stab at another tragic situation? Keep it classy Antelope Valley.

      • J. Ripper
        February 26, 2014 at 5:21 am

        Both of these are pretty callous, shallow comments, but the big difference I see is that at first blush, it seems much more likely that this was the result of either random or chance violence — the kind where scum kill someone just because they happened to be where they were at the wrong time, for whatever reason — whereas the shooting “red” references was between 2 close friends, and appears to be the result of personal issues. You can make an enemy that will kill you regardless of where you live, but it’s the violent crime by someone who doesn’t at all know you that is truly concerning.

    • soapbox journal
      February 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

      I certainly hope you never become an elected official of any community on this planet, Your type of justice is called vigilante and is on the lines of the KKK.

    • good idea
      February 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Hello Frank, oh man! YOU READ MY THOUGHTS!
      I totally agree with you.
      I see your vision! and I love it.
      it’s on my wish list.
      I have faith it will happen, someday.

  9. Elle
    February 25, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Crazy thing is I know people who frequently work in that area. A few summers back one of the workers found a nude man that had been robbed at Vallarta on Ave J & 20th West then carjacked/kidnapped beaten and dropped off in that same desert. The suspect threw the mans car keys into the desert stranding the victim. The victim didn’t report this to authorities because he was an illegal. This all is nothing new. This man, Stephen, unfortunately died this time because no one red flagged this area to be patrolled every once in a while. Now we’re taking these things seriously.

  10. anonymous
    February 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    I send my Heartfelt condolences to family and friends. This is really sad because its just a question of why would somebody do this. Regardless of the circumstances this should never happen to anyone. I knew Days where you could trust your neighbor and the people you lived next to. Even with all the violence that was happening outside you always had a sense of security being around trust worthy people. Its Like you cant even sit on your porch anymore without wondering if some individual is going to decide and making the dumbest choice of their life and destroy someone else’s. It’s disgusting and a loss for so many people he and his family are in my prayers.

  11. gemini
    February 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    My condolences to the family. Such a terrible tragedy.

    I pray the police find the sick, evil person who did this. It hasn’t been safe up here for a long time.

  12. Michael Rives
    February 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    To his family, I express my heartfelt condolences. I wonder if someone was shooting a weapon off from a distance and the victim just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Anyway, a lesson for all of us is to let someone know our whereabouts when we engage in an activity. It is a sad state of affairs these days, but it is true.

  13. Leavewhileyoucan
    February 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I grew up here riding my dirt bike in the desert and you can’t even do that now with out some piece of [removed] targeting you. It’s official. This town has been taken over by SCUM! Get out while you still can.

    • steve barrett
      February 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      I totally agree. Desert riding is why we moved here . Trash and scum is what we got

    • I agree
      February 26, 2014 at 7:46 am

      My kids and I left 6 years ago. We picked up and got out before they were old enough to get caught up in the AV downward spiral. My sister got hooked on drugs at 13yrs old and I was afraid my kids would want to be like their aunty.I was born and raised in Lancaster and my children born there too BUT it’s not a place to raise kids any more. So sad.

  14. sikntired
    February 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

    This is a horrible story.My condolences to the family and friends of this man.Sad that we cannot feel safe enjoying the desert anymore.

    • MK
      February 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Maybe it was a suicide?

      • sikntired
        February 25, 2014 at 5:03 pm

        According to av press today, bullet hole in helmet and no gun found.
        Unfortunately .”we are not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.”
        Might be time to re.-read Desert Reckoning by Deanne Stillman, an account of the murder of officer Steven Sorenson in Lake L.A..It is an interesting account of the type of fringe dweller drug addict criminals who like to hide in the desert, making, doing and selling drugs.

        • Question
          February 27, 2014 at 9:16 am

          where would you find the story you are referring to about Deputy Steve?

          • sikntired
            February 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

            You can borrow it from L.A.county library or buy it from Amazon.

          • sikntired
            April 13, 2014 at 7:13 pm

            You are welcome.Hard to put it down.Scary stuff.

        February 27, 2014 at 8:29 am

        This was no suicide!! Steve would never take his own life. They need to find the bastard who did this!!

      • KB
        March 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        No way! In the hearts of the ones on the inside know better. Also, the victim was not in the wrong place at the wrong time. The murderer was!!

  15. Ron Baldus
    February 25, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Steve was my neighbor growing up and a friend. He was at my house a few months ago trimming my tree. He was such a great guy im still shocked and cant believe it. I cant understand why somebody would want to harm him. I pray for his family. This really makes me mad. I still cant believe it. WE LOVE U STEVE FROM YOUR EASTSIDE FAMILY

Comments are closed.