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Detectives seek public's help in killing of 19-year-old whose nude body was dumped near 105 freeway

May 25, 2010 |  5:49 pm

Photo: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is asking for help from the public in solving the murder of Edwinta Hereford. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives asked for the public's help Tuesday in their investigation into the brutal death of Edwinta Hereford, 19, whose nude body was found dumped on the side of the 105 Freeway in Paramount nine days ago.

The Times' Homicide Report correspondent Sarah Ardalani reported from the scene of a news conference outside the sheriff's homicide bureau in Commerce:

Next to a poster-sized image of Edwinta Hereford -- the 19-year old whose nude body was found alongside a Los Angeles-area freeway earlier this month -- sheriff's homicide detectives gave an account Tuesday of her final days in the hopes of generating leads in a killing they said has left them puzzled.

Hereford's body was found about 5:40 a.m. May 16 on the shoulder of the eastbound 105 Freeway at Garfield Avenue in Paramount. A passerby "saw small feet" and pulled over to see if it was a child, according to Det. Phil Martinez, who is handling the investigation.

At first, detectives did not even know her name. She was found unclothed without any identification, other than a tattoo on her back that read: "Kenaya Faith Morgan."

Martinez said evidence suggested that her body was discovered within an hour of being thrown from a vehicle, but they had little else to go on.

Tips from the public and fingerprints led them to her identity, but the circumstances leading up to her killing remain unknown.

Hereford suffered massive blunt force trauma, said Lt. Don Slawson, but had no signs of being stabbed or shot. The autopsy has been completed by the coroner's office, he said, but investigators are still waiting for additional lab tests to determine the cause of her death.

Read more: No leads in case of nude teenager thrown from vehicle

Photo: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is asking for help from the public in solving the murder of Edwinta Hereford. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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