San Diego

Foul Smell Leads to Discovery of Body in Cardiff Granny Flat

A foul odor led investigators to the discovery of a woman's body at a home in Encinitas on Tuesday.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department began investigating the home on Summit Avenue just off Santa Fe Drive after a passerby reported a strange smell in the area. 

The first deputies on scene noticed the smell as well and began to search the property at about 5:15 p.m., after obtaining a search warrant. That's when they found the woman's body inside a granny flat located behind the main home, SDSO said. 

The woman was later identified by the SDSO as 43-year-old Sabrina Lukosky of Encinitas. The Medical Examiner's Office ruled her death a homicide.

Lukosky lived in the granny flat with her boyfriend, identified as Henry Simon Cowen. Cowen's mother owns the property and lives in the main house.

Lukosky was reported missing to the SDSO Oct. 3, but one of her friends told NBC 7 she hadn't been heard from since Sept. 20.

Deputies have not identified any suspects in the case, but said Cowen is a person of interest and investigators are working to track him down.

Neighbors told NBC 7 they've had to call deputies out to the home in the past. One neighbor said they've heard Cowen screaming in anger on more than one occasion, and another neighbor described him as psychotic.

Friend Shelly Abbott described Lukosky as harmless, sweet and caring.

“I’m a wreck. I’m in shock. She was awesome. I hate saying 'was' now,” Abbott said. "We lost a really good friend. A really beautiful person."

Meanwhile, neighbors are waiting for investigators to iron out the facts in the case.

“Until we have answers, until we have more specific information, we’re going to be on edge. I think that’s only natural, only normal,” said neighbor Mardi Taylor.

One neighbor said the stench had been lingering for weeks and that residents had been checking trash cans for a source. Deputies did not say how long the woman's body had been inside the granny flat, but said her body was badly decomposed.

The department did confirm the circumstances surrounding the death were suspicious in nature but did not provide any further details. The Medical Examiner's Office will determine the cause of death.

One neighbor said it was eerie knowing what was discovered on her block.

"I'm wondering where the mother was. How did she not smell the foul odor?" she said.

SDSO said there is no public safety threat and they were not searching for any suspects. It is not clear if anyone was in custody in connection with the death. 

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident was asked to call the Sheriff's Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330 or (858) 565-5200. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

No other information was available.

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