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$50K offered after woman's body found at downtown LA recycling center

April 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police need help in solving a murder mystery and they're offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who can help.

A woman's badly decomposed body was found in the trash at a downtown Los Angeles recycling center last September, but her identity and how she died remains a mystery.

Police are now offering a reward that they hope will help lead them to their killer. They're also hoping that a dentist might be able to recognize the composite sketch of this unidentified murder victim.

"No matter what her story is, no one deserves to be put out with the trash like this," said Lt. Paul Vernon with the Los Angeles Police Department.

She was a Caucasian woman, probably 50 or 60 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighed about 100 pounds.

Other than that, police don't know who she was or how she died. They only know that she was murdered, and her body was dumped in a recycling bin somewhere in central Los Angeles.

"We have no doubt, by identifying her, that we will be able to identify the person responsible for dumping her body in such a disrespectful way," said Vernon.

The woman's body was found wrapped in linen. Although she didn't have any identification, she was wearing an inexpensive silver ring. Police say it's about 40 years old, and they're hoping the ring will jog someone's memory.

"It's not an expensive ring," said Vernon. "But it may be indicative of having sentimental value for her."

Detectives think she might have been a woman of means because of the quality of her dental work.

"It was a very high degree of workmanship on that crown," said Vernon. "And the crown had been completed within two weeks of her death."

For the first time, the LAPD has created a Facebook page for this unidentified murder victim. The page includes the forensic sketch and photos of the woman's ring.

"We hope that the public will follow this Facebook page and enter any kinds of clues that they would like," said Vernon.

That Facebook page is listed under "The Body Recycler." Anyone with information is also urged to call LAPD Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.