Montebello woman found fatally stabbed in home; roommate sought as ‘person of interest’

MONTEBELLO — Investigators sought a man for questioning Thursday after his roommate was discovered fatally stabbed in their house, authorities said.
The body of Carmen King, 63, was found shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday at a house in the 600 block of North 20th Street, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Emelio Martinez, 51, was a ‘person of interest’ in the slaying of his roommate, whose body was discovered by a family member who went to the home to check on the woman, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting Montebello police in the investigation.
“She hadn’t been heard from in couple days,” Francisco said.
King had been stabbed multiple times in the “upper torso,” Francisco said. Detectives declined to discuss what type of weapon was used or whether it was recovered at the scene.
Detectives have been unable to locate King’s roommate since the body was found, officials said.
“We want to talk to Emilio Martinez, who we believe probably had last contact with the victim,” Francisco said. But investigators stopped short of labeling Martinez a suspect in the killing.
Also missing was the King’s car, the lieutenant said. It was described as a burgundy 2000 Dodge Stratus with a California license plate number of 4JMC641.
Other than being roommates, the relationship between Martinez and the dead woman was not clear, officials said.
It was also not known Thursday exactly how long King had been dead before her body was discovered, Francisco said.
An autopsy was pending, Winter said.
King was believed to have been working as a caretaker for an elderly resident of the home who died of natural causes earlier this month, Francisco said. Nothing criminal was suspected in that death.
No information was available regarding Martinez’s employment or past.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Anyone who spots Martinez or King’s Dodge Stratus was advised not to approach him, but to call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Man and woman arrested in Pomona on suspicion of auto theft

Deputies following the signal from a LoJack vehicle anti-theft system found and arrested a man and woman in a stolen car, authorities said.
The names of the suspects, initially described as a man and woman in their 20s, were not immediately available pending the booking process, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Perez said.
The incident began about 8:45 a.m. when deputies from the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Statin picked up on the signal in the Rowland Heights area, Perez said.
Deputies closed in on the SUV and spotted it getting onto the eastbound San Bernarindo (10) Freeway from the Orange (57) Freeway heading into Pomona, the sergeant said.
When the SUV exited the 10 Freeway at Garey Avenue and headed south, deputies attempted to pull it over, but it sped away instead, Perez said.
Deputies did not pursue the SUV due to safety concerns, Perez said.
“He started driving a little erratically,” he said. A sheriff’s helicopter kept track of the car from above.
After travling a short distance south on Garey Avenue, the SUV came to a stop near Pearl Street, Perez said.
The female suspect was arrested without a struggle near the SUV, while the man fled into a nearby apartment complex, officials said.
Witnesses pointed out which apartment the fleeing suspect ran into, Perez said. Deputies found him inside and took him into custody.

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Checkpoint planned Saturday in Arcadia

ARCADIA — Police are planning a series of checkpoints Saturday to screen drivers for sobriety and valid drivers’ licenses, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place an undisclosed spots within the city, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
The checkpoints are designed both to remove intoxicated drivers from the road and deter intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place, officials said.
Police reminded the public that Jan’s Towing officers a free program to provide motorists who have had too much to drink a tow up to seven miles within the company’s service area. For more information, call 626-334-1383.

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Clues sought, reward offered in hit-and-run that killed 20-year-old Norwalk man

NORWALK — The driver of a truck that fled the scene after fatally striking a 20-year-old Norwalk man earlier this month remained at large Wednesday, as family members offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Daniel Michael Ortiz died shortly after he was struck by a pickup truck while he was crossing Studebaker Road near Foster Road on his skateboard, within a marked intersection, shortly before 4:20 a.m. Feb. 9, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said. The truck was headed northbound.
The lifelong Norwalk resident and former quarterback at Norwalk High School was a fun and well-liked young man, said his sister, Teresa Macias.
“He always joked around. He was really funny,” Macias said. “If you were sad, he would make you laugh.”
Daniel Ortiz was an avid athlete, who had been playing T-ball at age 4, Macias said. He also enjoyed taking part in baseball and basketball.
“He was a hard worker,” the sister added. Ortiz had been working installing surveillance cameras.

“Outside of sports, Daniel had a passion for skateboarding and pretty girls,” according to a statement authored by family members and distributed on the program at his memorial service earlier this week.
“Daniel was an amazing person with a heart of gold. He was generous, outgoing and loved in a big way,” the statement continued. “He would want us to celebrate his life and and hold the memories he left us close to our hearts.”
More than a week after the fatal collision, Macias said family members are growing eager for justice.
“The family’s offering a $5,000 reward,” she said.
Ortiz was on his way home from a friend’s house when he was struck, sheriff’s Detective Steve Boyer said.
Though no witnesses have come forward to report seeing the fatal collision, investigators have since developed additional information about the hit-and-run vehicle.
It was initially described only as a metallic blue vehicle. But detectives recovered parts from the truck — such as headlight pieces — which allowed them to narrow down the search.
“The parts had part numbers on them, and they belong to a Nissan Titan,” Boyer said. The truck was from model years 2003 through 2006 and was dark metallic blue.
No description of the driver was available, and detectives continued reviewing nearby surveillance camera footage for clues, Boyer said.
The fatal collision was first reported to authorities by a passer-by who noticed Ortiz lying in the street, then flagged down an ambulance and a sheriff’s car, according to the detective.
Teresa Macias said the tragedy was further compounded by the fact that the driver fled the scene without making any attempt to help Daniel Ortiz, even though there was a hospital several doors down the street.
“When he hit (Daniel Ortiz) he could have just picked him and taken him (to the hospital),” Macias said.
Daniel Ortiz suffered two broken wrists, a broken leg and internal injuries when struck, his sister said. She said it appeared from his injuries that he held his hands out as if to protect himself just before the impact.
And because her brother was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk, Macias said she suspected the driver was intoxicated.
“If it is a drunk driver, he needs to be convicted,” she said. “He needs to realize this is something that’s serious.”
In addition to his sister, Ortiz is survived by two brothers, Joe Macias and Michael Ortiz, as well as parents Danny and Sherrie Ortiz.
A funeral was held Monday at the Chapel of Memories in Norwalk, Macias said.
“It was so beautiful,” she said, estimating that about 400 people attended.
Macias and Boyer asked anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711.

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South Pasadena police arrest teen on suspicion of San Marino burglary, attempted robbery

Police arrested a Riverside teenager over the weekend after he was confronted by a resident while burglarizing a San Marino home, then tried to rob a man of a cell phone before ultimately being captured in South Pasadena, authorities said.
San Marino police responded about 10:15 a.m. Sunday to a report of a burglary in progress in the 2000 block of Winthrop Road, South Pasadena police Sgt. Brian Solinsky said.
The 17-year-old suspect “used a brick to break a window and gain entry into the home,” Solinsky said.
A woman who lives in the home heard a commotion and found the suspect stealing valuables, police said. He fled when confronted, escaping with an ornamental lock from a Japanese cabinet.
Solinsky said the fleeing burglar ran to a home that was under construction nearby in the 1300 block of Garfield Avenue and asked the caretaker to use a phone, Solinsky said.
When the caretaker refused, the teenage suspect claimed to have a gun and demanded the caretaker’s cell phone, the sergeant said. But the would-be robbery victim refused, and the suspect continued on his way.
South Pasadena police then received a call reporting a suspicious person, who was sweaty and appeared to be trying to change clothes, just across the city border in the 2000 block of Edgewood Drive, Solinsky said. Officers found him in the area and arrested him without a struggle.
No weapon was found in the teenage suspect’s possession, officials said. Due to his age, his name was not released.

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Woman fights off would-be kidnappers in South El Monte

Deputies are looking for three men who allegedly tried to kidnap a woman on her way to a restaurant Tuesday night.
The attempted kidnapping happened around 8:30 p.m. but was reported to deputies at about 11 p.m.
SOUTH EL MONTE — A 44-year-old woman from Los Angeles was walking to a restaurant in the 2300 block of Rosemead Boulevard when an older model Pontiac with three men pulled up next to her, according to Sgt. Lynette O’Brien of the sheriff’s Temple Station.
“They’re saying things to her in Spanish,” O’Brien said.
She said one of the passengers got out and tried to pull the woman into the car. The woman fought back.
A second man stepped out of the Pontiac and also tried to grab her. O’Brien said the woman bit one of suspects.
The suspects left.
The driver was only described as a Latino. One of his passengers was described as a Latino, 30 to 35, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 180 pounds.
The second passenger was described as a Latino, 30 to 35, stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 190 pounds.
They used a 2-door white older model Pontiac.

- Ruby Gonzales

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A horse walks into a bicycle shop…

BASSETT — A horse walked into a bicycle shop Sunday, but what happened next was no joke.
About 45 bicycles were damaged when the animal broke free from a nearby equestrian community about 10:30 a.m. and ran amok inside Reyes Bicycle Shop, 13054 Valley Blvd., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and the shop owner’s son.
The horse suffered cuts and ultimately became trapped in bicycles, said the shopkeeper’s 14-year-old son, Jose Ruben Reyes.
“There’s a gang of damage on the bikes, but nobody got really hurt,” Reyes said.
After the female horse made it’s way into the store, “It started hitting all the bikes and started getting stuck,” he said. “I was scared. I was panicking.”
Two of three customers inside the store fled out the back door upon seeing the horse, while a third sought refuge in the bathroom, Reyes said.
The horse soon became entangled in bicycles.
“It got so scared,” Reyes said. The animal thrashed it’s way free of the bikes and exited the store on it’s own.
The incident lasted about a minute, Reyes added.
Deputies and animal control officials responded to the scene and helped with the situation, sheriff’s Sgt. John Suh said.
The horse owner and shopkeeper met to discuss payment for the damage, Suh said.
The horse had numerous cuts it suffered while rampaging through the bike store, however the owner retrieved it and told Reyes it would likely be okay, he said.
Following an extensive clean-up effort Sunday, Reyes said the bicycle shop was expected to back to business as usual Monday.

PHOTO – courtesy

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Police: West Covina woman arrested for nude yoga at Cortez Park

WEST COVINA — Police arrested a 19-year-old woman Sunday on suspicion of indecent exposure after she stripped nude at Cortez park and began practicing yoga, authorities said.
Witnesses at the park reported the unusual incident just before 10:40 a.m. at the park,  West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The woman, whose name was not available pending the booking process, arrived at the park, disrobed and proceeded to practice yoga, the lieutenant said.
“When officers arrived, she was fully nude,” he said.
The woman was arrested and expected to be released with a citation for a misdemeanor count of indecent exposure, Patton said.

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Altar containing human bones found in Pasadena back yard

PASADENA — Police detectives and coroner’s officials are investigating after the discovery of an apparent altar of some kind containing bones, including a human skull, in a Pasadena back yard.
Officers were summoned to the 800 block of North Oakland Avenue about 12:50 p.m. Saturday after a resident reported a possible trespasser, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
The trespasser was not found, though officers encountered and arrested man not believed related to the trespassing due to outstanding warrants, the lieutenant said.
While searching over the area, however, officers did find “some type of makeshift altar” in a residential back yard, Clawson.
The pile of items was comprised of sticks, candles, incense, burned artifacts, animal bones, human bones and a human skull.
The bones were were collected by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner for examination, coroner’s Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said. An anthropologist was expected to examine them Monday.
It was not clear of the altar was left behind by the reported trespasser.

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Officials identify man found dead on Altadena horse trail

ALTADENA — Authorities Sunday identified a 26-year-old man found slain on a horse trail near Canon Boulevard in Altadena.
Marcus Anthony Nieto was pronounced dead at the scene after he was discovered unresponsive by a passerby early Saturday, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said. He had a listed address in West Covina, however he was believed to have been staying most recently in Azusa.
It initially appeared Nieto, whose body was found just after 8:10 a.m. on a horse trail near the 3800 block of Canon Boulevard, had been shot in the head, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
But an autopsy was yet to be carried to determine Nieto’s officials cause of death, MacWillie said. The death was reported to the coroner’s office as an apparent homicide.
No further information was released.

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