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Body parts case: Victim reported missing 8 days before head found

January 24, 2012 | 10:48 am

A 66-year-old man whose head, hands and feet were found in Bronson Canyon below the Hollywood sign was reported missing eight days before his dismembered remains were discovered.

Hervey Medellin’s partner reported him missing Jan. 9 to police after he said the Hollywood resident failed to return home, two sources said. Medellin’s head was found in a bag Jan. 17 by dog walkers on a Bronson Canyon trail not far from his home. A subsequent search with cadaver dogs turned up two hands, and later two feet in a shallow grave.

According to friends and family, Medellin’s boyfriend told them Medellin left their third-floor apartment on DeLongpre Avenue Dec. 26 but that he continued to hear from him until Jan. 4. The boyfriend told family friends that when Medellin did not return he became concerned and reported him missing Jan. 9.

Los Angeles police and coroner’s officials identified the remains Friday as those of Medellin, a retired Mexicana Airlines employee known for his love of art and hiking and who sometimes walked his dog in the hills.

The sources stressed that detectives were not fully clear on the motive in the killing of Medellin. 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 anonymity 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 who spoke on condition of anonymity 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.

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

PHOTOS: Body parts found below Hollywood sign

Andrew Hill, who lives on the second floor of the DeLongpre building where Medellin lived, told The Times he heard a lot of commotion on the floor above him at about 3 a.m. three weeks ago. He said he heard furniture being moved as well as screaming and yelling. He said he spoke to 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

-- Richard Winton