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Body found in backyard of Pico Rivera home

July 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A homicide investigation is under way in Pico Rivera after a body was found in the backyard of a home.

The remains were discovered on the 8400 block of Pico Vista Road and Sunglow Street.

Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide detectives were called to the scene at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, after the body was discovered by a loved one and some acquaintances who had been looking for someone for several days.

The body of the victim was wheeled out of the backyard where he was found buried in a shallow grave. Investigators said it appears the body had been there for some time.

So far, authorities have not been able to identify the person's gender, and said the circumstances remain a mystery. There were no suspects in custody as of Thursday afternoon.

"We will be taking the remains back to our office where we will conduct a full autopsy and try to identify the deceased person," said L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

Neighbors are disturbed by the gruesome discovery on their relatively quiet street, but say they aren't surprised there was trouble at that particular home.

"It's pretty scary, especially this close to my mom's," said former neighbor Abe Valenzuela. "But I had a feeling it was going to be on the riverbed side; a lot of criminal element there. Just knowing from growing up here in the neighborhood."

"These people have been having a lot of problems. They had trouble with drugs, they had trouble with family, money. You know, desperate people do desperate things," said neighbor Paul Ulloa.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News that the woman in the home had been going door to door looking for her 19-year-old son about a week ago.

Authorities are not commenting on whether there's a connection between that 19-year-old and the victim.

"I don't have the details on how it was discovered other than somebody reported it to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department," said Winter. "Deputies responded and they made the discovery."

After collecting several bags of evidence, and searching two parked cars at the home early Thursday afternoon, homicide investigators cleared the crime scene and kept tightlipped about the investigation.

Neighbors said they are on edge and hope to get answers soon.

"We have faith in the sheriff's department. Hopefully, they can solve this case and we'll all be at peace again," said neighbor John Montalvo.

Authorities say they are talking to two people, but don't have any suspects as of this report.

If you have any information regarding this case, you're urged to contact investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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