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Charred body found at Los Angeles park

May 25, 2010 |  5:39 pm

Los Angeles police detectives were investigating the slaying of a man whose charred body was found Tuesday morning in Hermon Park in Montecito Heights.

The unidentified victim was described as an African American man in his early 20s. His body was found about 7:30 a.m. by a man who was walking his dogs in the park, which is about 100 feet from the Pasadena Freeway.

Homicide Det. Victor Marin of the LAPD's Hollenbeck station said the victim had been shot once. Investigators said most of the burns were from the waist up.

It was not clear if the dead man lived in the neighborhood, nor was there an apparent motive in the case, police said.

"We don't have a lot to go on right now," Marin said.

Capt. David Hanczuk said the incident marked the first time in a long time that there had been a homicide in Hermon Park, which is popular with local dog owners. According to The Times' homicide blog, there have been 11 killings within a 1-mile radius of the park since December 2007.

Police are asking anyone who heard a gunshot or may have seen an argument, confrontation or other suspicious activity before the killing, which took place sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. Tuesday, to contact Hollenbeck homicide detectives at (323) 526-3009 or dial (877) LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Andrew Blankstein