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Woman who first spotted burning body in Compton thought it was a mannequin

March 31, 2010 |  9:37 am

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department released new details Wednesday about a burning body discovered near Compton High School.

A woman was driving home from work about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday when she spotted what she thought was a mannequin engulfed in flames, said Lt. Liam Gallagher of the Sheriff's Department.

When rescue workers from the sheriff's office and the Compton Fire Department arrived, they realized it was a body, Gallagher said. Firefighters put out the blaze, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was unclear if the person had been dead or alive when he or she was set on fire.

It was previously reported that the victim may have been an adult African American male, but Gallagher said the burns were so extensive that the body's gender and race could not be determined. Homicide investigators were waiting on the results of an autopsy to identify the victim and determine the cause of death, he said.

The body was found on the side of a street just south of Compton High School, near the football stadium. Deputies set up barriers around the crime scene and redirected students to a different school entrance to prevent them from seeing the body, Gallagher said.

-- Kate Linthicum


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