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LAPD denies doctored photo of murder suspect was a coverup, despite Web speculation

June 2, 2010 |  8:06 am

It began Thursday with a one-sentence observation on Fark.com and a link to a mugshot on the LAPD's website of one of the city's most-wanted criminals, a large, shirtless man with a skin-tone rectangle obscuring part of his chest.

HuffingtonPost.com soon weighed in with the observation that suspect Eduardo Ibarra Perez, 44, had assets "so appalling that they're not fit for public viewing."

England's Daily Mail newspaper weighed in a few days later with an article.

But LAPD officials say it wasn't morality they had in mind when they decided to alter Perez's photo. Their aim was to block out booking information that is typically included in a suspect's booking photograph.

"This photo was posted when the department's website was launched back in the late 1990s," said LAPD spokeswoman Mary Grady  "At the time, the department was still trying to determine how much information they wanted to make public so it was not unusual for the department to blur booking information."

Perez remains wanted for allegedly shooting his wife to death in 1994 in Sun Valley in what police described as a domestic violence case.

"This man's picture has been on our website for more than a decade," Grady said. "Perhaps all of this attention will help us capture the suspect and close the case."

--Andrew Blankstein

Photo credit: LAPD