Manhattan Beach body identified as 21-year-old Long Beach man


Mario Herrera's body was found last Thursday at Polliwog Park. Investigators say it was wrapped in plastic on top of a pile of fertilizer.

Martha Vergara, Herrera's mother, saw the story on the news that day and never imagined that that was her son.

"I just felt like they took a piece of me," she said.

Vergara says she knew something was wrong when he didn't come home the night of July 6.

"He would tell me, 'I'll be back.' He would come home Sunday night. He didn't come home from Saturday. Monday passed, Tuesday passed, and Wednesday, and I had to do a police report saying that he was missing," said Vergara.

The last communication Herrera had with any of his loved ones was a text on July 6 to his girlfriend, Karmina Lopez. The message read, "K good nite love you babe im gonna hit u up in the morning."

Lopez said Herrera was a caring and loving father to their 2-year-old son.

"That's just what breaks my heart, because I know I will never find another guy like that, that would care so much for me and my son," said Lopez.

The autopsy on Herrera's body was inconclusive. Results from toxicology tests are pending.

Investigators believe Herrera was killed somewhere other than the park. His family hopes somebody with information will come forward.

"All I want is justice," said the victim's uncle, Victor Vergara. "I just want the person that did this to him, if he's looking at me now, you know, you're going to be caught."

Anyone with information about this crime was asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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