Hollywood body parts identified; name withheld

JOHN ROGERS
Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coroner's officials have identified the man whose dismembered head, hands and feet were found in a Hollywood park, but they're not releasing his name as police hunt for his killer.

As part of that hunt, police served a search warrant Thursday night on a Hollywood apartment not far from the rugged, hillside park where the body was found.

"They did serve a search warrant last night. They are following clues, and the case is progressing. Guys are working around the clock to find out who did it and find the rest of the body," police Commander Andrew Smith said Friday.

He did not elaborate on why the warrant was served or what, if anything, detectives found.

"We don't want to give out too much information because the investigation is ongoing," Smith said.

The identity, age and hometown of the victim were withheld because his family had not been notified and because investigators had placed a "security hold" on the information, Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said Friday.

The head was found Tuesday by a dog walker at Bronson Canyon Park, and police searchers discovered the man's hands and feet during a two-day search that ended Thursday. The park, a brushy, wooded expanse of rolling hills just below the Hollywood sign, was reopened Friday.

Although police have concluded no other body parts were dumped in the park, visitors who find anything they believe are related to the victim's death should contact authorities, Smith said.

More than 120 police officers, firefighters and Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies searched 7 acres of the park after the discovery of the man's head in a plastic grocery bag. The victim's hands and feet were found nearby.

Police have said the victim was 40 to 60 years old. He is believed to have been killed elsewhere and his remains dumped just inside the park, which attracts hundreds of hikers and dog walkers on most days.

Although rustic, it is located just a short distance from film studios and other Hollywood attractions.

Police believe the body parts were left there no more than a day or two before the head was found because they had barely decomposed and had not been attacked by coyotes that roam through the park at night.

Authorities don't believe the Los Angeles case is connected to a case in Tucson, Ariz., where police found a torso on Jan. 6. They say if the two were related, the remains would have been more badly decomposed.

The victim's head was found after the dog walker let one of the animals she was shepherding through the park off its leash and it began playing with a plastic bag. When it shook the bag, the head fell out.

Smith said whoever dumped the head had gone to some effort to conceal it.

"If it had not been for the dog walker, we might never have found it," he said.

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Associated Press writer Bob Christie in Phoenix contributed to this report.