06/18/2012 12:59 pm ET Updated Jun 18, 2012

Body Tied To Tree Near Harvard Westlake Prep School Identified As Suicidal Man

Police have identified the body tied to a tree near Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City.

James Ernest Oberg, 57, committed suicide and died from asphyxiation, the Los Angeles Times reports. It wasn't clear from police reports if he had hanged himself.

Oberg had gone missing from his nearby home over two weeks ago, Patch reports. The police had asked the public for help in finding the man, whose family was very concerned for his safety and described him as possibly suicidal. They had released at least one photo of Oberg in a Missing Persons listing.

The body was found across the street on Coldwater Canyon at around 8:18 a.m. Friday morning by a Harvard-Westlake security guard, notes CBS2/KCAL9.

Head of Campus Operations and Construction J.D. De Matte confirmed to the Harvard-Westlake Chronicle Friday that the deceased man was not a part of the Harvard-Westlake community, but the grisly discovery is no doubt an unusual and upsetting tragedy for the exclusive prep school.

Harvard-Westlake is well known locally for its challenging curriculum and celebrity alumni. The school's most famous former students include actors Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tori Spelling and director Jason Reitman.

Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year is $30,350, but 18 percent of the student body receives some form of financial aid from the school, notes the Harvard-Westlake website.



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