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Severed head: search warrants served in Hollywood

January 19, 2012 |  6:51 pm

Feet discovered in shallow grave

Los Angeles police on Thursday served several search warrants  in connection with the severed body parts discovered over the last few days near the Hollywood sign.

LAPD sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing, said the investigation was progressing but declined to provide further details. The sources said no arrests have been made.

Detectives suspect that the parts are from one man but emphasized that they won't know for sure until forensic tests are done.

Officials at the coroner's office will be looking for fingerprints and other evidence that can identify the body.

PHOTOS: Body parts found below Hollywood sign

Two feet recovered Wednesday afternoon had been buried in a shallow grave.

The grave was discovered near where a severed head and two hands were found, raising the possibility that the body parts were buried together but later scattered by wild animals, sources familiar with the investigation said.

Although authorities believe the head, hands and feet belong to the same person, police said they will not know for sure until further forensic testing. The victim is believed to be a man in his 40s of European descent, with salt-and-pepper hair.

Dozens of cadets, detectives and officers trained in searching rugged terrain were back out at Bronson Canyon Park near the Hollywood sign.

The search began Tuesday afternoon, when dog walkers discovered the head in the park after they noticed their dogs playing with a plastic bag and went to inspect it. The head was inside.

On Wednesday, with the help of specially trained cadaver dogs, police found two hands and two feet. Authorities believe the victim was killed within a day or two of the discovery of the head. They believed the hands were in good enough condition that they would be able to obtain fingerprints, which could help identify the victim.


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Los Angeles Police detectives work a crime scene off Canyon Drive on Wednesday after a human head, two hands and two feet were discovered. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times