Investigators in the western U.S. state of California discovered the remains of a ninth person killed by a gunman in a Santa suit during a party on Christmas Eve.

Authorities say the body was discovered Friday at the burned-out home near Los Angeles, where the attack happened late Wednesday.

Investigators say 45-year-old Bruce Pardo drove to the home of his former in-laws dressed as Santa Claus and armed with a handgun. 

Authorities say Pardo knocked on the door, and when an eight-year-old girl answered, he shot her in the face and opened fire on other guests.  After emptying his gun, police say he set fire to the house as guests frantically tried to escape.

Pardo later shot himself to death. Police said Friday they found $17,000 in cash and a plane ticket to Canada on his body. Officials say Pardo suffered severe burns which might have caused him to abandon his plans to flee.

Investigators say Pardo was apparently distraught over his recent divorce.  His ex-wife and her parents are believed to be among the dead. 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.