Two severed hands and two feet were found near a trail below the Hollywood sign in Branson Canyon Park. Investigators said they believe all the body parts belong to the same person.
Investigators said the body parts are that of a man 40 to 60 years of age, possibly of European or Armenian descent.
The gruesome investigation began after two women walking dogs found the head at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Two of the dogs were playing with a plastic bag when the severed head rolled out.
Investigators brought in equipment all morning to aid them in their search for more clues. Police believe the victim was killed recently because the body parts are not in an advanced decomposing state.
"It doesn't look like the body part has been up here very long," said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.
As police fanned out through the brush, Canyon Drive was blocked off for the investigation. It is a popular area for hikers and pet owners.
Investigators ended their search in the evening and planned to resume Thursday morning.
"I heard about it last night. It's a shock. We're out almost every morning," said Dave Parker of Hollywood.
Police are looking through their missing persons files in hopes of making a connection, but so far, a match has not been found.
While crimes like this are common in Mexico, for now at least, authorities are not linking the head to drug cartels.
At this point, police do not believe the crime occurred at the location the body parts were found. They believe the body parts were dumped.
Anyone with information that may help police is urged to call (213) 486-6890.