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Man's body found at La Tuna Canyon brush fire scene

June 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fire crews discovered a man's body while battling a small brush fire just south of the 210 Freeway in Sun Valley early Thursday morning.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, fire officials responded to the scene on La Tuna Road around 3 a.m. for a report of a small fire.

As firefighters were dousing the flames, they discovered the badly burned body on a hiking trail. Homicide investigators believe the man was murdered, dumped on the trail and lit on fire.

"We believe that the fire was intentionally set either to cover the evidence or cause of death," said Det. Pat Barron.

Police spoke to witnesses and gathered evidence around the crime scene.

"This is a main trail head to the Santa Monica Mountains area, and this is one of the main hiking trails in this area. So we can pretty much be assured that somebody was walking this path yesterday," said Barron.

Authorities have not released the identity of the man. His cause of death remains under investigation. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill detectives at (818) 834-3115.