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Body parts case: LAPD probes whether victim knew killer

January 23, 2012 |  8:15 am


Detectives investigating the death of a man whose head, hands and feet were found along a hiking trail near the Hollywood sign are focusing on whether the killing was tied in some way to his personal life, according to law enforcement sources.

The sources stressed that detectives were not fully clear on the motive in the killing of Hervey Medellin, 66, a retired Mexicana Airlines employee. But investigators are looking into whether he was killed by someone he knew.

Detectives have not made any arrests, and the sources, who spoke on condition of annoymity because the case was ongoing, said they continued to examine other scenarios as well.

Friends have said Medellin hiked in Griffith Park, near the area where his body parts were found last week.

A friend told The Times that Medellin left the airline some time ago. The friend said she went to his apartment Friday after TV reports of the case Thursday but could not find him. She spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Medellin also once owned a Los Feliz condominium with another person, according to a resident who currently owns the property.

Medellin lived with another person in a third-floor apartment on DeLongpre Avenue -- not far from the hiking trail where his body parts were found.

PHOTOS: Body parts found below Hollywood sign

Andrew Hill, who lives on the second floor of the building, told The Times he heard a lot of commotion on the floor above him at about 3 a.m. about three weeks ago. He said he heard furniture moving as well as screaming and yelling. He said he spoke to police detectives Thursday and they asked him when the garbage was taken out.

On Thursday evening, police served a search warrant in the complex. They towed a silver Honda from the building about 7 p.m.

Authorities called off the search for additional body parts and reopened the Bronson Canyon area of Griffith Park on Friday morning. It had been closed since Tuesday afternoon when a dog discovered Medellin's severed head. A massive search by authorities yielded his hands and feet.


Park reopens after body parts search ends

Search warrants served in severed body parts case

Mystery over body parts near Hollywood sign deepens

--Andrew Blankstein