ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Coroner’s investigators have identified the remains of a Los Angeles man found with possible stab wounds deep in the Angeles National Forest nearly four months ago, but the circumstances of his death remain a mystery.
The body of German De Jesus Ochoa Berrios, 20, was first discovered by hikers about 12:30 p.m. on April 30 in some bushes near mile marker 21.08 of Angeles Forest Highway, near Big Tujunga Canyon Road north of La Canada Flintridge, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
He remained unidentified in the months following the discovery to do the advanced stage of decomposition in which the remains were found, officials said. The man was initially believed to be of Asian descent, though he was ultimately found to be Latino.
The hikers noticed a bad odor, which led them to find the remains, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Darrin Walker said at the time. They weren’t sure if the remains were human or animal, but notified the authorities.
Their suspicions proved correct, as investigators soon determined the remains belonged to a man.
It appeared the man may have suffered stab wounds to his chest, according to sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
But his official cause of death remained under investigation as coroner’s investigators awaited the results of forensic tests, Winter said. It was not clear how long the body had been there before it was found.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the death have been released. Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Friday.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.