Coroner: mysterious death was suicide

EL MONTE — Coroner’s officials said Tuesday that a man found dead outside an office building Sunday committed suicide.
Jerry Huang, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene from “multiple traumatic injuries,” Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. John Kades said.
Huang’s city of residency was not known, he said.
Homicide detectives responded to investigate the death after a security guard discovered the body about 1:15 p.m. in the 9600 block of Flair Drive.

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Reward in Salas case doubled

From reporter Nathan McIntire:

MONROVIA – A reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing Sammantha Salas has been increased to $20,000, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced Tuesday.

Salas, 16, was fatally shot on Peck Road near Longdon Avenue in the unincorporated area of Monrovia on January 26.

The two suspects in the slaying are described as African-Americans in their late 20’s wearing dark-colored bandanas or hooded sweatshirts. The suspects are believed to be members of the Du Roc Crips gang.

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Former Pasadena cop suspected “Polite Bandit”

From reporter Ruby Gonzales on the 211 beat in Whittier:


LA HABRA – A man arrested for allegedly robbing a La Habra bank last week is a former Pasadena police officer.

The FBI said it is also investigating if the man, 44-year-old Vincent Cantu of Whittier, could be the apologetic “Polite Bandit” who hit three local banks in 2006.

“There are similarities,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. She said the “Polite Bandit” robbed Banco Popular branches and the La Habra robbery was at a Banco Popular.

The bandit was seen with a gun during the 2006 heists and told victims he was sorry.

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Mysterious death may be suicide*

EL MONTE — The mysterious death of a man whose body was found outside an office building in the 9600 block of Flair Drive is looking more like a suicide.

The death was listed with the coroner’s office as a “possible suicide.”

Coroner’s officials said the death was due to blunt force truama.

The afternoon of the discovery, detectives took measurements of a large mechanical lift being used for construction at the site, and spent a good deal of time with their eyes trained upwards toward the lift and the nearby multi-story building.

The dead man is being described only as an Asian man in his 30s pending notification of family members.

*Lt. Gil Carrillo of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said Monday that until an autopsy has been performed that determines the incident was a suicide, detectives will continue investigating.

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Posted in RIP

Weekend roundup

A summary of some items we’ve been covering over the weekend:

1. EL MONTE — Homicide detectives are investigating the mysterious death of a man whose body was found on the property of an office building Sunday.
2. ROSEMEAD — The man who died in a fiery crash at the end of a police chase Saturday was driving an SUV that belonged to a woman found shot to death at her Gardena business.
3. LA PUENTE — A man allegedly shot and wounded two of his roommates during an argument at their house Saturday.
4. SOUTH EL MONTE — Officials have released the name of a man found who was fatally shot in his car last week.
5. NORWALK — A man was shot and wounded in the parking lot of a convenience store Sunday.
6. SONORA — The Montrose Search and Rescue Team rescued a 34-year-old man Sunday after he spent two nights at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft.

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Alleged thieves pick wrong car to crash into

HACIENDA HEIGHTS — Two 17-year-old boys were arrested Friday on suspicion of auto theft and hit-and-run after they allegedly crashed into a car full of Army soldiers, sheriff’s officials said.

The teens were cruising in the car, which was reported stolen out of Fontana, in South El Monte when they struck the car with four soldiers in it and fled the scene.

The soldiers followed the car, phoning the location and license plate number of the suspects’ car to sheriff’s officials.

Deputies quickly realized the car was stolen, and a helicopter began following the car as well before it crashed into a tree in Hacienda Heights.

The teens ran but were quickly caught.

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Rockefeller is Gerhartsreiter

From the Associated Press (as if we didn’t know already):

BOSTON (AP) — The FBI says it has identified the kidnapping suspect who calls himself Clark Rockefeller as a German man who came to the U.S. as a youth and later took on several aliases.

The FBI told reporters it pulled fingerprints from immigration documents from the early 1980s of Christian Gerhartsreiter (GAYR’-hahrtz-ry-tur). The prints match those taken from Gerhartsreiter around the time of his Aug 2. arrest in Baltimore.

Earlier this week, authorities in California identified Rockefeller as Gerhartsreiter, though they did not provide forensic evidence.

Gerhartsreiter is accused of kidnapping his daughter off a Boston street. And authorities are seeking to question him about the disappearance of a California couple who owned a guest house where he lived.

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From the overnight notes

More cutting and pasting. This time there’s three sources. First, Kate Kealy, night editor, reports:

 Whit: NORWALK — The sentencing for a gang member convicted of killing a rival during a car-to-car shooting in Pico Rivera was continued to Sept. 22.

This story added to Trib A4:

POMONA — A man who repeatedly called Rep. David Dreier’s district office in San Dimas and threatened to kill the congressman has pleaded no contest to a felony charge of threatening a government official.

Brian Day, night cops reporter, was following these stories:

Hacienda Heights: There may have been a “borderline” home invasion robbery Thursday.

La Puente: The 76 station at Sunset and Temple was robbed about 2:30 p.m. A silver semi-automatic handgun was used.

Walnut: An armed robbery was reported about 4:20 p.m. near 130 Avenida Alipaz. (near Lemon creek park)

Finally, from CA Breaking News on Twitter:

 Perp* Area of Graystone@Grand;Monrovia; MPD searching area for subject fleeing from Police ….

Guess What? Monrovia PD denies it happened this morning ….

Same stuff different day! 



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Detectives seek killers of man who tried to stop taggers

This is a press release from Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office. It came just two days after an emotional hearing before the Supes about the deaths of Good Samaritans who try to stop graffiti vandals throughout the county:

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina will join Lieutenant Gil Carrillo of the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division to publicize a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of Luis Sandoval, a 71-year-old East Los Angeles resident who was shot in the abdomen after witnessing two males spray-painting graffiti on the side of a business located at the corner of East Olympic Boulevard and South Hicks Avenue. 

Mr. Sandoval had been riding his bicycle home and lived just four houses away from the scene of the crime.  Though the shooting took place on February 25, 2007, Mr. Sandoval died approximately four months later on June 13, 2007.  Authorities have since confirmed that his death was due directly to the injuries he sustained as a result of the shooting and are now asking for the public’s help to solve this homicide–the third graffiti-related killing to occur in the First District.  (Robert Whitehead of Valinda was shot and killed in March 2006 while trying to stop graffiti taggers from spray-painting his neighbor’s garage; Maria Hicks of Pico Rivera was shot and killed in August 2007 while trying to stop graffiti taggers from spray-painting a wall in her neighborhood.) 

Surviving relatives of Luis Sandoval will be available at tomorrow’s press conference for interviews and pictures of the crime scene will be on display.
“Luis Sandoval was a hard-working, retired steel worker with a large family whose only transgression was being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Molina said.  “The anguish his death has caused his family is indescribable–and it is particularly painful to the community since it is the third graffiti-related homicide to take place in the First Supervisorial District.  It is my sincere hope that this $25,000 reward compels someone to bring information forward that will help us catch the people responsible for Luis Sandoval’s murder.”

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