Man found dead in SoFi Stadium lake had ‘trespassed,’ jumped into water, official says

Firefighters search the artificial lake outside SoFi Stadium after receiving reports of a body in the water.

Firefighters and dive teams recovered a body from an artificial lake outside SoFi Stadium on Wednesday after receiving reports of a person jumping into the water, authorities said.

At 6:01 a.m., an unidentified 45-year-old man entered the stadium’s parking lot, Inglewood Mayor James Butts said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. Two minutes later, security personnel called police.

The man was last seen around 6:13 a.m. entering the water and moving toward the middle of the lake, Butts said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau and L.A. County firefighters were called at 6:21 a.m.


The man’s body was recovered at 9:48 a.m., Butts said.

“We don’t know why he was on the property and we do not have him identified,” Butts said. “They have plenty of surveillance video. ... We don’t know why he got in the water.”

SoFi Stadium in Inglewood is among the 16 venues selected to host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

June 16, 2022

Two security officers went to the lake when the man was spotted on surveillance video, but by that time the man was already in the water, Butts said, adding that he had not seen the footage. By the time divers and firefighters arrived, the man hadn’t been seen “for quite some time.”

“Honestly, this is someone who made a conscious decision to trespass on the property, get into the lake, and he ended up having some distress and difficulty,” Butts said. “So I don’t think there’s anything that SoFi could have done to prevent this.”

Lake Park sits south of the stadium, and the 5.5-acre lake holds approximately 11 million gallons of water, according to developers of SoFi Stadium, which is home to both the Rams and Chargers NFL teams.

The 70,240-seat stadium lies next to the Forum, and construction broke ground in November 2016. SoFi Stadium cost at least $5 billion and has been called the most expensive stadium built in the U.S.


It was the site of multiple deaths during construction.

Cal-OSHA issues citations to two companies involved with the construction of SoFi Stadium for safety violations related to the death of a worker in June.

Dec. 15, 2020

Subcontractor Juan Becerra, 37, of Brownsville, Texas, fell to his death on June 5, 2020, after he stepped on an unsupported area of the roof that was under construction.

About a month later, construction worker Simon Fite, 32, of Compton died on July 7, 2020. An autopsy report said Fite died from “cocaine intoxication” and heat exhaustion.

On Sept 25, 2020, two weeks after opening day, 25-year-old Sergio Rojo was found dead with a stab wound to his neck on the stadium grounds. An autopsy report said Rojo died in an accident from “sharp force injury.” Two knives and a blade were found near his body, which was discovered underneath a trailer. Rojo was believed to be homeless.

Los Angeles landscape designer Mia Lehrer is working to peeling back the city’s concrete. Her latest project brings parkland to SoFi Stadium.

Feb. 11, 2022

On Dec. 16 of that year, construction worker Luis Escobar, 34, was fatally pinned by a metal beam in an accident involving a crane at the adjoining retail district that was under development, according to a California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokesman. The Rams hosted the New York Jets four days later.

Times staff writer Nathan Fenno contributed to this report.