Human remains found inside wall of Los Angeles apartment
LOS ANGELES, CA — Homicide detectives were conducting an investigation after a body was discovered inside the wall of an apartment in unincorporated Lomita, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Thursday. A body was wheeled away from an apartment building in Lomita where human remains were found on July 2, 2015.
Investigators were first called out to a unit of the building, which is located in the 26800 block of Western Avenue on Wednesday, after receiving a confidential tip that possible human remains were inside, according to sheriff's Lt. Steve Jauch.
Scent dogs were used the day of the discovery, and authorities received a "positive alert" from two of the dogs," Jauch said at a morning news conference outside the building on Thursday.
Initially, Jauch told reporters that it was too early to confirm if the remains were humans. He said he expected investigators to be on scene all day.
Then, around 9:30 a.m., the sheriff's lieutenant confirmed that the remains did in fact appear to be human. He did not provide any information about who the person was or how they died.
"It does appear to be human remains in terms of identity, sex, race," Jauch said. "Possible cause of death, it's something that's going to have to be determined in the days that follow by the coroner's office."
It was also not known how long the victim had been in the residence.
"It doesn't appear to be very recent." the lieutenant said. "I don't know how long the victim may have been there, I just don't know."
Jauch initially declined to state where exactly in the apartment unit they had been located, but later said the remains were found in the wall.
A short time before he confirmed that the remains were human, authorities were seen wheeling a body on a stretcher out of the cordoned off unit, video from the scene showed.
Investigators remained at the scene to search for additional evidence after the body was taken away by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
"Who knows what else they can turn up in terms of something we can use as evidence if this is a criminal act," Jauch said.
Few other details about the discovery have been released, and Jauch stressed that the investigation was still in its preliminary stages.
Jauch said a family that was occupying the unit has been temporarily relocated. It was not clear how long they had been living there, and investigators were checking to see who previously resided in the apartment.
One man who did not give his name but described himself as a resident of the area told KTLA he was surprised to learn about the incident.
"That's crazy ... This is a nice place, nice neighborhood, you know. So everybody lives, you know, quiet and comfortable," he said.
Anyone with information about is encouraged to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Tipsters wishing to provide information anonymously have been asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.