Malibu security guard died on the job. Questions remain

Inge Baumbach did not like to take flowers from his garden.

It was in his nature to protect everyone and everything in his life, including the plants in his yard. So his fiancée at the time won’t forget the time he gave her a bunch of flowers.

“I never asked him, but he gave me cut flowers, and I thought it was horrible,” Sarah Lynn Mandel recalls. “I think it was the sweetest thing.”

Mandel and Bombach never married, but they have remained close over the years. Then in March, his body was found turned upside down in a Malibu parking lot. Mandel does not know how he died. Law enforcement officials provided few details.

Mandel struggles for answers. It’s the closest thing Bombach has to family in the United States.

Bumbach was a native Swede who immediately fell in love with Southern California weather when he arrived in 1993. He later began working as a landscape designer, taking advantage of the enduring warmth of the Golden State.

Mandel recalled their life together, how he helped raise her two now adult sons, the time they lived on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, and how he would always build a new fence whenever they moved into a new home.

He helped her divorce and she helped him become a US citizen.

SaraLynn Mandel and her ex-fiancé, Inge Baumbach.

(Sarah Lynn Mandel)

Three months ago, Bombach warmed up in his Venice apartment and headed to Trancas Canyon Kindergarten. The Garden Shop is located at the back of a shopping center with rustic barn-style storefronts, Starbucks, a market, and an unassuming courtyard off the Pacific Coast Highway.

He wasn’t planning on buying any gardening supplies or plants, but instead was spending the night on the property as a security guard.

It was March 28, he was 58 years oldThe tenth birthday.

The next morning, an employee of the nursery found Baumbach lying face down in the parking lot. Emergency officials declared him dead, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The county coroner registered his death on the day his body was discovered.

Mandel wonders if he actually died alone on his birthday, If attacked or stumbled and fell.

“There are a lot of scenarios, but I think it’s safe to say we won’t know. And that, I was trying to think about, is this good or bad?” Mandel asked. He died while working trying to protect people.

Although he was born on the Swedish island of Gotland, Bombach was an unapologetic American. He bragged about being from the land of the Vikings, but professed his love for his adopted home in California.

His son, Matthias Johansson, remembers a different father in California. He and his younger brother, Oliver, visited Baumbach from Sweden, and noticed how calm their father was.

“Even as a kid, I could tell he was the happiest person in the States,” Johansson said.

Sarah Lynn Mandel holds a portrait of Angie Bombach.

Sarah Lynn Mandel holds a picture of Angie Bombach from the time they met. Baumbach helped raise her two sons, who are now adults.

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

“He was by no means perfect, but he was always willing to help those who needed him, even if he himself was suffering,” Johansson said in a phone interview from Lund, Sweden. “Even if he was getting frustrated at times, he would try to make you happy, and he would have done it to strangers too, not just family.”

Bombach did not often ask for patients’ work, often covering his co-workers’ shifts. The Swedish veteran enjoyed working as a security guard in the United States because it was the closest, Mandel told, he would become a law enforcement officer.

“There are people as we all know, from other countries, who love our country very much,” Mandel said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Baumbach suffered a blunt force trauma to his upper torso. Investigators are searching for the driver of a car that was in the parking lot before his body was discovered.

Lieutenant Vincent Orsini said he did not appear to have been attacked. The coroner’s report on the official cause of Baumbach’s death is still pending. His employer, Cornwall Security Services, did not respond to requests for comment in early June.

“Even though he was in an upscale neighborhood, it didn’t matter, because the danger to the security guards is always so great,” said Terence Crump, Baumbach’s former co-worker. “It’s always dangerous.”

Crump said he cried when he heard that his friend and colleague had died on the job. The two have worked together for years as security guards. Even though they went to work for different security companies, they kept in touch.

Their last conversation was a phone call. They talked about starting their own business and what they plan to do in the future.

“We were kind of dreaming about it,” Crump said.

Before he came to the United States and watched the upscale neighborhoods and film studios of Southern California, Bombach had his family watched over in Sweden.

“One of my first memories, from the age of five, or something, is that I remember some kids making fun of me while I was running outside,” said Richard Baumbach, Baumbach’s younger brother. “I went home and told my brother and he said, ‘There is no one alive who can help you.'”

then it He went out and hit the bullies.

“He was four years older than me, and I was always his little brother,” Richard said.

But their last conversation was a quarrel.

Their mother, Inger Baumbach, was upset by something Richard and his family had said to her eldest son about her frustration. Just as he did for his younger brother when they were children, Bombach jumped to the defense of their mother, criticizing Richard by phone from America.

“When you live far away and hear one story, it is very important to confirm it,” Richard said of the misunderstanding. “And we never did. I was kind of expecting us to follow up on that later.”

Sarah Lynn Mandel holding a picture of Ingie Bombach

Sarah Lynn Mandel holds a portrait of Angie Bombach. Still waiting for answers on his death.

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Mandel said that she and Bombach did not agree head-on on many things later in his life, including politics. He bragged about voting for former President Trump and frequently mocked progressives and liberals on social media.

Mandel said his stubborn nature translated into a kind of warmth that made others feel protected. She hopes to raise money to send it to Bombach’s mother in Sweden, but she knows there won’t be much comfort when there are so many lingering questions.

Mandel said that Baumbach talked about getting into a fight at work, But he was getting rid of them as petty quarrels. But in a Facebook post in December 2020, he wrote of a “violent confrontation” at work.

“It’s amazing how young adults underestimate us,” Bombach wrote. But then he stopped publishing about his job and, in the weeks before his death, wrote instead about football and heavy metal music.

Mandel is not sure what exactly happened to him on the night of his death. She said she has theories, but is waiting for solid answers from the final autopsy report.

“He was friendly with everyone and treated everyone equally unless they threatened him or his loved ones,” Mandel said.

Mandel and Bombash were associated with their love of animals, like a newborn pony they found tangled in a tree at the back of their property in Westlake Village and named Calypso. They also bred a Doberman named Oden. She said she planned to publish the ashes of Auden and Bombach in Hawaii, where he hoped to retire.

“We had our differences, but I miss him and am so sad that he passed away at the age of 58 without spending the rest of his long life on the sand and in the waters of Hawaii,” Mandel said.

Richard does not want to dwell on his brother’s last moments or absence. His last picture of Baumbach was on the floor in the yard, trying to punch a sprinkler head and getting frustrated.

“I will keep it in my memory,” said Richard.

For Mandel, she doesn’t have to look far to find anything reminiscent of Baumbach.

All she has to do is look in her garden. He planted succulent plants there, and they stubbornly survive.

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