[UPDATED with OCSD comments:] Are Deputies Covering Up The Laguna Hills Murder of a 25-Year-Old U.S. Army Veteran?

Categories: Crime-iny, Main
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What happened to Khalid Flimban?
[Update at end] ORIGINAL POST, JULY 11, 9:00 A.M.: The mother of a 25-year-old U.S. Army veteran found dead at an affluent Laguna Hills neighborhood playground on Jan. 6 claims her son was murdered and Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) investigators didn't just wrongly rule the case a suicide but covered up a killing.

An angry Toni Battle, mother of Khalid Flimban, created a Facebook page to raise awareness about the death and the OCSD investigation, both of which she labels suspicious.

"The Sheriff's Department has lied, twisted things around and changed their story I don't even know how many times now," Battle told OC Weekly. "The investigators have not talked to any neighbors and it took them five months to even speak with me. I know my son did not commit suicide. He was murdered."

Flimban, a former OCSD Explorer, was found hanging in a playground at Santa Vittoria Park in Laguna Hills. After the discovery, the Orange County Register reported on the Buena Park resident's death in the affluent community, not identifying Flimban, but quoting OCSD spokesperson Jim Amormino that there were no signs of foul play.   

On Jan. 5, Flimban went with two friends to a house near the public park. One of his friends lives in the neighborhood adjacent to the park. About four hours later, he was found dead on the playground. Battle says no suicide note was found. She never received an autopsy report or a death certificate from the authorities.    

Battle claims she was first told by investigators that Flimban was found hanging from a tree out of view from the street. As it turns out, according to Battle, he was actually found in plain view from the playground with a belt around his neck.

Khalid Flimban crime scene pic OCW.jpg
Courtesy of David Dang
A demonstration of how Flimban was found dead at a Laguna Hills playground.
"My son did not own any belts," she said. "And they said it was tied in two knots. He could not for the life of him tie a knot. He was face down and on the ground, and now you are going to try to tell me he killed himself? I don't believe one word they are saying."   

Battle said she was given all items that were on him, except for his jacket and the belt that was tied around his neck. Authorities have refused to give her either item, and have been uncooperative throughout the whole ordeal, she claims.
 
khalid family.jpg
Flimban's mother Toni Battle and brother Yazzie Bedonie at the site of Flimban's death
Battle, a school bus driver, has been protesting outside of the Laguna Hills Civic Center for the past few weeks, holding signs reading "Murder in Vittoria Park" while handing out fliers to passing cars.

On June 25, Battle and her supporters--who wonder if Flimban was lynched--appealed to the Laguna Hills City Council during the public comment session. In response, city officials promised to help get answers. Battle met with Laguna Hills Mayor Melody Carruth, City Manager Bruce Channing and four sheriff's deputies before the council's July 10 meeting, but remains unsatisfied.   

"They think I'm dumb, they think I am really dumb," she said. "They think they are going to get away with this but they're not. I am not going to stop, I am going to keep going out there and telling people what's going on until they finally do something about it."

Sandra Longnecker, a sheriff's investigator on the case, declined an interview request.

Flimban served in the U.S. Army as a human resource specialist at Fort Irwin in California and Camp Stanley in Korea. He participated in Magnolia High's ROTC program and was named 4th place as the 2005 Overall Outstanding Explorer at the OC Sheriff's Explorer Winter Academy. Flimban attended Orange Crescent School, an Islamic elementary school in Garden Grove. He was starting his own business as a computer repairman before he died.

UPDATE, JULY 11 2:30 P.M.: Sheriff's spokesman Amormino said deputies completed a thorough investigation and concluded based on forensic evidence that the death was a suicide. He said the autopsy showed no injuries consistent with a struggle. Flimban was found to have non-prescribed medication in his possession and methamphetamine in his system. 

Flimban got into a heated argument with his ex-girlfriend hours before his death and sent text messages to friends that were indicative that he was in the process of killing himself, according to Amormino.

Battle insists Flimban was not suicidal prior to his death. 

Sources told OC Weekly that the victim's ex-girlfriend, along with a friend who lived in the neighborhood behind the park, were among the individuals who received the suicide text messages. Amormino, however, could not confirm this information. He also could not confirm whether or not Battle was interviewed during the investigation.

UPDATE, JULY 12 5:00 P.M.: Sheriff's spokesman Amormino confirmed no suicide note was found. Amormino says Flimban's body was found hanging from a pole on the playground, in the same position as Battle demonstrates in photo above.
     
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28 comments
cassaundra_lynn0778
cassaundra_lynn0778

I went to high school with Khalid I mean come on we dated for a whole, he didn't kill himself. I talked to him 2 days before all this happen yes he had a fight with his ex he broke all his stuff and her and her new bf stole from his house. Khalid and I were very good friends even after graduation he was an amazing person and I know when he's upset he gets quiet and withdrawn but he would never so this! Something is wrong and the truth will come out!!

bigprv1975
bigprv1975

To the minority that stated please don't let this be about race. Just because you your self have not been made to feel like you have been discriminated against doesn't mean  no one else has not been. I hope you never have to be prejudged. 

michlaw
michlaw

Ok, I am baffled.  I have followed this story and yes, I agree, something is way wrong here.  However, I see different posts from friends/family claiming racism and referring to this as a "lynching".  Others are saying it's his girlfriend and friends that are behind it?  Laguna Hills has tons of minorites( I being one)  I am 19 and have lived here for more than 10 years.  I have never been threatened, or even close to it.  Please don't turn this into a racial thing.  It's sounds more like he chose the wrong friends.  It's more likely to be someone he knew, not someone looking to kill someone "of color".   With that being said, my heart goes out to his family(especially his mother).  It is obvious he was a great guy with a loving family.  May you find the answers you are looking for and may those responsible pay for what they have done!

RangerDanger
RangerDanger

 I was his friend and I can tell you his mamma still tied his shoes all the way to the end and he had zipper inserts for his boots while he was enlisted.

RangerDanger
RangerDanger

 Your mamma should have had better pre- natal care!.....

RangerDanger
RangerDanger

 Ever notice the lack of consistency and fact when "authorities "  are investigated?  

Ranger Danger
Ranger Danger

 The U.S. Army is not the F' ing  boy scouts, being able to tie a  knot  is not in any way required.

GEUST
GEUST

For those of you whom think that this is a joke this is pass a serious matter . It does not need all the ignorant comments that it is receiving. A very intelligence, loving, kind,soft hearted young man died at vittoria park in laguna hills, california. All people need to care. It does not matter the color of ones skin or their religious point of view. There are no perfect people on this planet! If there were then there would be no need for you nor I ! DRUGS AND ALCOHOL AFFLICTS EVERY WALK OF LIFE  . IT DOES NOT MATTER THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMICAL BACKGROUND when it comes to drugs and alcohol. PRESCRIPTION OR NON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS THE OUT COME IS THE SAME AND THAT IS ADDICTION. Let us not forget the issues is that a YOUNG MAN IS DEAD! and we all need to care and find out what really happened to him because you could be NEXT !

Amber Stephens
Amber Stephens

John - believe me, I do wish it was possible to give you the details of exactly who was there that night and the events leading up to when he went missing. According to multiple accounts, three people were there that night - including one who lives right behind the playground. It's more than "he would have never done that" - but if the investigator won't speak with me, so all I can report on is what the OCSD spokesperson says. I'm working on it everyday though, check back. I'm not done with this story yet. 

John Glanton
John Glanton

So I visited the Facebook page hoping to learn more about this supposed injustice. It is full of innuendo, cries of racism, accusations of hate crime, but there is not once shred of evidence that the dude was murdered, or that the OCSD has done a bad job, or covered anything up, or is racist. There's nothing to learn there, or so far here, about these things. Almost every time someone commits suicide we hear friends and relatives say "he would never have done that". But that's no reason to accuse the po-po's of racism, or the whole damn county of racism. Sorry he's gone, but please, either show us some real facts about racism or shut up and stop fouling this guy's death with indignity. Please give us a fact (not a feeling), and we will help however we can. 

Ashley Wade
Ashley Wade

If you really think about it john u stared all this trouble by asking stupid stuff it doesnt matter if his father was in the picture its a matter that a young man who has family and friends who want anwsers was murdered and deserve to know the truth so please stop posting stupid stuff or better yet dont post at all you are only making it worse for those who really do care

Fester
Fester

It's amazing how many people are willing to sound foolish by pretending to know what they're talking about, when they obviously don't.

eli_dub
eli_dub

Kahlid Flimban, Manuel Loggins, Darryn Robins...another "mysterious" death of a black man in South Orange County under the watchful eye of the OCSD.

Jive332
Jive332

John, quit playing dumb AND asking dumb rhetorical questions that you know the answer too. Why is it that when white people ask dumb questions about African American fathers they get their a*ses beat? Can you answer that for me? I'd be curious to see how you put a spin on it. Oh, wait... you'll have to refer that question to your father who was probably educated in Harvard. He'll more than likely just refer YOU back to the as* whooping and then ask you to stop asking stoooopid questions.

whathappenedtoKhalid
whathappenedtoKhalid

 Thank you, Streets, it's refreshing to see people sincerely feeling for the victim and their family instead of trying to get attention with inconsiderate comments that don't help anyone.

findjustice
findjustice

 Thank you Amber Stephens, for shining some light on this case and being a voice for those who don't have one. A HUGE THANK YOU to you as well for answering the ignorance of others with discernment. Hopefully this humbles those who wish to make careless remarks about the loss of life.

anti-idiot
anti-idiot

 HE WAS FROM BUENA PARK. You may not call yourself racist, but you have shown your ignorance. Think before you speak.

Streets
Streets

All true a person that is thinking logically would not do what has been alleged, however if he was drugged, that is a different story.....if this guy was slipped a mickey and was not used to being high, he could have very well killed himself.  This would still lead to someone else being responsible for his death other than Mr. Flimban, by the way my condolences to the family...this was very tragic..........

Amber Stephens
Amber Stephens

I don't know what the rest of your comment is saying, but let me just clarify this: his friend, who picked up him that night, lives in the houses behind the park. 

Amber Stephens
Amber Stephens

The supposed details of this case are more confusing than the last names. There was a young (white) male who went missing and was found dead in the same area last year without the same last name as his mother. Your point is? 

John Glanton
John Glanton

How come most dead black dudes in the news don't have the same surname as their mothers? It's confusing. How come there is not a Mr. Flimbam complaining to the press and police about his son's death?   Those of you who say that you know him ... where is Mr. Flimbam? Did he raise his son?

Peyton Farquhar
Peyton Farquhar

Murdered in Laguna Hills? LMAO. The roughest "crime" that south county sees is jaywalking. Vet suicides are an epidemic and are presenting ::ENORMOUS:: problems for the Dept of Defense. I have to wonder whether this particular event was a coverup ordered from the Pentagon to keep up the shiny, happy, image of the military and keep the flag-waving sheeple distracted from reality.

John Glanton
John Glanton

How come black people always resort to threatening people with physical violence? How come they always debate issues with class warfare, like "your Dad probably went to Harvard"?

Streets
Streets

Lot's of dumb-shits out there..that would be on their knees crying if this happened to one of thier loved ones......Hope and God for you and Khalid............. 

lynnboom
lynnboom

Amber,

 

Thank you for helping the family find justice.

lynnboom
lynnboom

John,

 

You sound like a ignorant individual. It matters not if this young man is black, blue, pink, white, or purple. He was and still is my nephew and is loved and missed.It sounds like your father wasn't there to raise you because it is very claer that you have some very special issues that you need to seek help for quick fast and in a hurry. Maybe you should go try hanging your damn self and ask your mother if she took pre-natal care. People like you make me want to be right next to them so i could slap the stupidness out your ass.

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