UPDATED: Woman’s body found in Angeles National Forest

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — Investigators have a mystery on their hands after hikers discovered the body of a woman, apparently stabbed to death, along a hiking trail in the forest north of the eastern San Gabriel Valley.
The body, initially described as that of a woman who appeared to be in her 20s or 30s, was found shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday alongside a hiking trail at the east end of East Fork Road, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
Rescuers responded to the scene and pronounced the woman dead at 2:33 p.m., coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
She appeared to have suffered “sharp trauma” inflicted by a “stabbing implement,” said Lt. David Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, however he declined describe the injuries or weapon involved in the killing, citing the ongoing investigation.
An autopsy will be conducted on the body.
It did not appear the body had been killed elsewhere and dropped of in the forest, the lieutenant added.
Based on evidence found at the scene, “We believe it happened there,” he said.
The body was found clothed and out in the open, with no signs of an attempt to bury it, Coleman said.
Investigators went through area missing persons cases for a possible connection to the body with no success, Coleman said.
“We’ve dismissed all the leads regarding missing persons,” he said.
Investigators were planning to create a composite drawing of the woman to release to the public in hopes of learning her identity, Coleman said.
Though the area where the body was found is in a remote part of the forest, it’s a popular spot for forest visitors such , officials said.
Thursday’s discovery was the second time in the past week human remains were found in the Angeles National Forest.
Detectives following up on the Jan. 8 discovery of a shallow grave containing animal remains, which was believed to be related to ritualistic animal sacrifice, discovered the remains of a person Saturday near mile marker 2.72 of Big Tujunga Canyon Road, north of Sunland, sheriff’s officials said.
“Due to the condition of the remains, age, gender, and identification is unknown at this time, pending the coroner’s investigation,” Deputy Don Walker of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said the day of the discovery.
Further details regarding the body or the circumstances in which it was found were being withheld Friday due to a security hold placed on the case by sheriff’s homicide detectives, Winter said.

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