Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Remains of babies dead for possibly 70 years found in L.A. basement [Updated]

The bodies of two babies wrapped in Los Angeles Times newspapers from the 1930s were found in an apartment building basement near downtown L.A.

Workers found the bodies Tuesday evening when cleaning out the basement. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the remains were found with personal letters and tickets to the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

The LAPD and the Los Angeles coroner's office are investigating. A coroner's official told The Times that the newspaper-wrapped bodies of the children had a mummified appearance.

[Updated at 6:50 a.m.: The grim discovery was made in one of L.A.'s oldest districts, a densely populated area of apartments west of downtown Los Angeles near MacArthur Park. Officials said they have launched an investigation, but it's unclear whether anyone who lived in the apartment during the 1930s is still in the area.

Law enforcement sources told The Times that the case is being classified for now as a "death investigation" and not a homicide. Officials will attempt to determine how the babies died -- likely with the help of forensic anthropologists. They will also look for any reports of missing babies during this period and attempt to find anyone who lived in the apartment at the time.]

LAPD Lt. Cory Palka told KTLA News the remains were found inside a steamer trunk in an apartment in the 800 block of Lake Street in the Westlake District.

The coroner's office is examining the remains to see if it can determine a cause of death. Authorities believe the babies have been deceased for seven decades but will perform tests.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Comments () | Archives (35)

Oh my God! Let's all hold hands and pray- what a tragedy...uuummm, dorks? It's been 70 years, very likely their families are over it. I suggest you do the same...let's move on dudes.

Real Cold Case,do it!!

Bryan, don't be a fool. You never know if the body of those two babies may end up becoming a trail that uncovers even more innocent victims. The criminal(s) can very well still be alive. If so, they should be punished for their crimes. If not, it can be documented as such. Time shouldn't exempt them from their wrongs. That's disrespectful to the victims and supporting relatives whether they are alive or not.

It is no question that crime amongst gangs are an alarming situation. That doesn't mean we can turn a blind eye to non gang-related incidents. It is often the people with clean records that do some of the most horrible things that you would never expect.

From another website, Police Chief Charlie Beck said, "We'll put detectives on this case for the long term." Why? There is no one to prosecute - this case is 70 years old. And why are some so eager to assume that these children met some nefarious end or that were unloved or wanted and thrown away like garbage. Do we possess superior morals and ethics to those who lived in the 30's? Let's put the time and money into all the children that are missing right now.

Clearly, it seems that some doctor living in the building was performing abortions at the time and did'nt know how to dispose of the fetuses. He must have been a member of the peter pan club and a baseball fan. That would explain the membership card and the baseball ticket stubs.

If these babies's mother(s) was a teenager she could still be alive today. Maybe she's your little old lady next door.

Ugh, I'm so sick of people from the 30s ruining our quality of life in the present! Someone should go back in time and deport them all!!!

that is sick. i guess anyone can get away with murder

Very sad. It is doubtful that the parents are still alive.

"Why? There is no one to prosecute - this case is 70 years old. And why are some so eager to assume that these children met some nefarious end or that were unloved or wanted and thrown away like garbage."

That's the kind of thinking that war criminals still alive from their participation WWII would love for us to think - since they have no desire of turning themselves in either. The last thing I want to see is that we do nothing for them because its more than half a century old.

Marta, you can't be sure of anything - the includes who is to prosecute. You don't even know that. There is no proof that it was a negligent parent, a pervert, a child, or even a crime. Not even the detectives know that. This is why they are placed on the case long term - to ascertain what really has happened to whom, by who, what, when, where, why, & how. That doesn't mean they will spend every hour of their day on it to the point it compromises their current daily quota.

There are cases where people do "copycat" crimes that mimic the notorious crimes committed in the past. There are discovered bodies that lead to multiple trails of bodies yet to be discovered. Maybe you don't care, but I would like to see that anyone who was treated like those babies were are documented to the fullest detail so that we may understand their demise before we start throwing out accusations - as well as giving them a proper burial. Lastly, anyone who may be responsible should be documented in that conclusion whether they still live today or are dead now.

« | 1 2


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: