Inge Baumbach did not like to take flowers from his garden.
It was his nature to protect everything in his life, including the plants in his yard. Then her fianc will never forget giving her a handful of flowers.
“I never asked him, but he gave me a cut flower, and he thought it was terrible,” recalls Saralene Mandel. “I think that was the sweetest thing.”
Mandel and Baumbach never married, but they remained close for years. Then, in March, his body was found, face down, in the parking lot of Malibu. Mandel does not know how he died. Law enforcement officials have provided some details.
Circles are fighting for answers. He is the closest thing to the Baumbach family in the United States.
Baumbach was an indigenous Swede who fell in love with the weather in Southern California in 1993. He later took up business as a landscape designer, taking advantage of the permanent warmth of the Golden State.
Mandal remembers his life together, how he helped raise his two sons who are now adults, how they lived on Benbridge Island near Seattle, how he always built a new bar when they moved into a new home.
He helped her through divorce, and she helped him become a US citizen.
Three months ago, Baumbach gear-up at his Venice apartment and headed to the Trancus Canyon nursery. The Garden Store sits behind a shopping center with barn-style storefront, Starbucks, market and a common patio just off the Pacific Coast Highway.
He did not plan to buy any garden supplies or plants but would stay overnight on the property as a security guard.
It was March 28, his 58thth Birthday
The next morning, a nursery worker found Baumbach sleeping face down in the parking lot. Emergency officials pronounced him dead, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. The day the body was found, the county coroner recorded his death.
Mandel wonders if he died alone on his birthday, If he was attacked, or trapped and fought.
“There are a lot of scenarios, but I think it’s safe to say we don’t know. And, I was trying to think, is that good or bad?” The board questioned. “She died in the act of saving people.”
Although he was born on the Swedish island of Gotland, Baumbach was unexpectedly American. He boasted of being from the land of the Vikings, but declared his love for his adopted home in California.
His son, Matthias Johansson, remembers a different father in California. He and his younger brother, Oliver, moved from Sweden to Bauambach, and they noticed how calm their father looked.
“Even as a kid, I would say he was very happy in America,” Johansson said.
“He was not perfect in any way, but he was always ready to help those in need, even if he was struggling,” Johansson said in a telephone interview from Lund, Sweden. “Even if he was feeling frustrated at times, he tried to make you happy, and he did it not only for the family but also for the strangers.”
Baumbach often does not call patients to work and often covers shifts for his colleagues. The Swedish military veteran preferred to work as a security guard in the United States because it was closest, he told Mandel, that he would become a law enforcement officer.
“As we all know, there are people from other countries who love our country very much,” Mandel said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Baumbach sustained a strong ball injury to his upper torso. Investigators are searching for the driver of the car in the parking lot before finding his body.
Lieutenant Vincent Ursini does not appear to have been attacked. A coroner’s report on the official cause of Baumbach’s death is under consideration. Her employer, Cornwall Security Services, did not respond to a request for comment in early June.
“Even if he’s in a high-end neighborhood, it doesn’t matter, because the risk for the security guards is always great,” said Terrence Krump, a former Baumbach colleague. “It’s always dangerous.”
Krump said he cried when he heard his friend and co-worker had died at work. He used to work as a security guard two years ago. Although they went to work in various security firms, they remained in touch.
Their last conversation was on the phone. He said he plans to start his own business and what to do in the future.
“We were just daydreaming about it,” Krump said.
Before he came to the United States and visited the neighborhoods and movie studios in Southern California, Baumbach looked after his family in Sweden.
“One of my first memories, from the age of 5, or something like that, I remember some kids teasing me while running out there,” said Baumbach’s younger brother, Richard Baumbach. “I came home and I told my brother and he said, ‘There is no one else alive to help you.’
Then he They went out and beat him.
“He was four years older than me, and I was always his younger brother,” said Richard.
But their last conversation was a fight.
Their mother, Inger Baumbach, was angry at what Richard said and told her eldest son about her frustration. Just as he had for his younger brother when they were children, Baumbach jumped up in defense of his mother by hitting Richard on the phone from the US.
“When you’re living far away and you hear a story, it’s very important to confirm,” Richard said of the misunderstanding. “And we never did that. I hope we follow suit.”
Mandel said she and Baumbach did not turn a blind eye to many things in her life, including politics. He boasted of voting for former President Trump and ridiculed most progressives and liberals on social media.
But his stubborn nature translated into a kind of warmth that made others feel safe, Mandel said. She hopes to raise money to send Baumbach’s mother to Sweden, but she knows it will be a little comforting to have so many long questions.
Mandel said Baumbach had talked about getting into fights while at work. But he will remove them as a small fight. In a December 2020 Facebook post, however, he wrote about the “violent encounter” at work.
“It’s amazing how young people ignore us big boys,” Baumbach wrote. But then he stopped posting about his job and in the weeks leading up to his death, he wrote about football and heavy metal music.
Mandel is not sure what happened to him on the night of his death. She has the principles, she said, but she is waiting for a concrete answer from the final autopsy report.
“He was friendly with everyone and treated everyone equally until they threatened him or his loved ones,” Mandel said.
Mandel and Baumbach were so enamored with the animals that they found them trapped in a tree behind their property in the village of Westlake, like a newborn wolf, and named it Calypso. They also picked up a Doberman named Oden. She said she plans to spread the ashes of Oden and Baumbach in Hawaii, where she had hoped to retire.
“We had our differences, but I miss him and feel very sad that he died at the age of 58 without living a long life in the sand and the waters of Hawaii,” said Mandel.
Richard does not want to be in his brother’s last moments or in his absence. She has the final image of Baumbach as she lands in the yard, trying to screw on Sprinkler’s head and getting frustrated.
“I keep that in mind. Remember that,” said Richard.
For Mandel, he doesn’t have to look far to find reminders of Baumbach.
All he has to do is look into his garden. He planted the saplings there, and they remained stubborn.