Missing autistic man from Altadena found safe in Utah

ALTADENA >> A 19-year-old autistic man who went missing over the weekend was found safe in Utah Friday morning, officials said.
Jonathan Taylor Clarke took his identification and some money from his mother’s purse during the early-morning hours July 18 and left on foot, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
He requires medication, and without it, officials said his mental capacity is that of a 7-year-old child.
Clarke’s mother received an e-mail from him stating that he loved her and was sorry, sheriff’s officials said.
“Jonathan was located by North Park Police Department in North Park, Utah. He was found this morning and was reported to be hungry, but not injured at all,” according to the sheriff’s department statement. “Jonathan’s mother will be driving out to pick Jonathan. Thank you all who took the time to post flyers.”

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Man’s body found in front of Baldwin Park grocery store

BALDWIN PARK >> Police found no initial signs of foul play after a man was found dead in front of a Baldwin Park grocery store late Thursday, officials said.
Someone called police about 10 p.m. to report what was thought to be a man passed out drunk in front of Food 4 Less on Baldwin Park Boulevard, jut south of Francisquito Avenue, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Johnny Patino said.
Officers arrived to discover a man already dead, the sergeant said. Police said the body appeared to have gone undiscovered for some amount of time, as rigor mortis had already set in.
The man was believed to be transient known to the area, Patino said.
There were no overt signs of trauma or foul play, he said. Coroner’s investigators were summoned to the scene.

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Woman charged with murders of two alleged accomplices following botched restaurant robbery in Montebello

MONTEBELLO >> Prosecutors charged a woman with two counts of murder and one county of robbery in connection with the robbery of a Montebello restaurant in which her two alleged accomplices were fatally shot by the business owner, who was also wounded in the shoot-out.
Toni Danielle Lopez, 21, of Los Angeles entered no plea when she appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. Her arraignment hearing was postponed to Aug. 6.
She’s charged with the murders of Kevin Fierro, 23, and Roger Soriano, 21, who died in a botched robbery shortly after midnight Saturday at a restaurant in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard, according to prosecutors and Montebello police officials.
She served as a getaway driver in the restaurant robbery, in which the business owner exchanged gunfire with Fierro and Soriano, killing them both, district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. The victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound during the gunfight.
Additionally, detectives suspect Lopez also accompanied Fierro and Soriano when they carjacked a Toyota Camry in East Los Angeles, then robbed man of his wallet, cellphone and headphones in the minutes prior to the Montebello robbery and fatal shooting, Montebello police Lt. Andy Vuncannon said.
Investigators found and arrested Lopez Tuesday afternoon, still in the carjacked Camry believed.
Lopez’s bail was set at $2 million, Risling said.

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$1.8 million worth of marijuana seized from 2 Rowland Heights homes; 6 suspects arrested


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Narcotics investigators seized $1.8 million worth of marijuana from two Rowland Heights homes and arrested six suspects during a bust Tuesday, authorities said.
Detectives developed information that a home in the 18600 block of La Guardia Street in Rowland Heights was being used to grow marijuana, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective T. Simpson said in a written statement. Deputies arrived to conduct a search later the same day.
“An elaborate marijuana grow system was discovered at the location where several thousand dollars in U.S. currency and 300 marijuana plants at various stages of growth were seized,” Simpson said. Equipment such as lights, filters and fans used to grow the marijuana and conceal its odor were also discovered.
Deputies arrested four men and two women at the La Guardia Street home, officials said. Their names were not released Wednesday.
A child at the home was placed into protective custody by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
0723_NWS_SGT-L-RHGROW2Information gleaned at the La Guardia grow house led detectives to another in the 1200 block of Lindengrove Avenue, Simpson said.
“Although no suspects were located at the residence, (sheriff’s) narcotics investigators seized 646 marijuana plants, also at various stages of growth,” the detective said.
“The investigation is ongoing and there is no additional information available at this time,” he said.
Nearby in Baldwin Park, a house fire led police to discover about 1,000 marijuana plants growing inside a home Tuesday evening, officials said. An El Monte man was arrested in connection with the grow operation.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Simpson at 909-595-2264. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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No victims found after La Puente shooting

LA PUENTE >> Two men opened fire with a shotgun and a handgun in a residential La Puente neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, but no shooting victims were found, authorities said.
The gunfire was reported just before 3 p.m. in the 400 block of Sandia Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. David Cortinas said.
A vehicle, initially described only as a newer-model, silver, four-door car, passed by and two men inside opened fire, officials said. Several rounds were fired from a shotgun, as well as a semi-automatic pistol.
No victims were found in the area, and none arrived at area hospitals, Cortinas said. No further details were known about the circumstances or motive in the shooting.

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Azusa police seek missing woman


AZUSA >> Police are seeking a woman who went missing from her temporary home in Azusa Tuesday night, officials said.
Micki Lisa Strampe, 42, was last seen about 9 p.m. at her temporary residence in the 900 block of East Citrus Edge Street, Azusa police Sgt.
Strampe suffers from medical issues and requires medication, Torres said. It was believed she left her home of her own free will.
Strampe is described as white, about 5 feet 4 inches tall, about 215 pounds, with long brown hair and green eyes. She was last seenw earing a blue T-shirt and dark green pants.
Micki was described as a 42 year-old white female, about 5’04” tall, weighing about 215 pounds, with long brown hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt and dark green pants.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200. Tips may also be submitted online by clicking the “anonymous tip” link atop the department’s website, www.azusapd.org.

PHOTO of missing person Micki Lisa Strampe, 42, courtesy of the Azusa Police Department.

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UPDATED: Baldwin Park man sentenced for beating death of toddler son

POMONA >> A Baldwin Park man received a sentenced of 25 years to life in prison Tuesday after a Pomona Superior Court jury convicted of murder and child abuse for the death of his 20-month-old son, authorities said.
The jury deliberated for about an hour before finding David Paz Vasquez, 34, guilty of second-degree murder and child abuse causing death for the June 12, 2013, death of his son, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. Judge Bruce Marrs immediately sentenced Vasquez to 25 years to life in state prison.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators identified the young toddler as Joshua Anderson Vasquez.
His father brought him to Citrus Valley Medical Center – Queen of the Valley Campus about 10:50 a.m. before he was pronounced dead at 11:08 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroners officials said. Doctors determined the boy died from blunt force trauma to his torso and head, and detectives responded the man’s home in the 3700 block of Downing Avenue to investigate, Detective Eddie Brown of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at the time.
The toddler’s mother was at work when the fatal injuries occurred, officials said.
“Vasquez told investigators that placed the child on a bed and told him not to move,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. “The toddler fell onto the floor and Vasquez became so upset that he struck his son on the head and abdomen and then took him to the hospital.”
“It appears Vasquez slammed the victim’s head against the floor and that he used a shoe to strike the child in the abdomen,” Risling said. The victim’s injuries included a broken skull, broken ribs and internal bleeding to the abdomen, officials said.
An autopsy determined the boy died of “blunt force trauma inflicted by caregiver,” and the case was ruled a homicide, Los Angeles County Department Coroner Assistance Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Detectives arrested David Vasquez on suspicion of murder late the same day.
About 15 months prior to the child’s death, when he was five months old, he suffered a broken leg when Vasquez yanked him away from his mother, the district attorney’s statement said. “After that incident, the toddler was placed in foster care for about a month and then went to his grandmother’s house for six months. “He was then returned to his parents.”


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Man robs Azusa liquor store at knifepoint

AZUSA >> A knife-wielding man robbed a liquor store Sunday, police said.
The crime took place about 11:20 a.m. at Canyon City Liquor & Deli, 424 W. Foothill Blvd., Azusa police Cpl. Nick Covarrubias said.
The robber approached a lone female clerk, brandished a knife and demanded money from the register, the corporal said.
He fled with an unknown amount of cash, as well as the clerk’s cell phone, which was found outside the store, Covarrubias said. The clerk suffered no injuries.
Police described the robber as a Latino man in 20s, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall and 150 pounds. He wore a black hooded sweat shirt, dark basketball shorts, dark high-top sneakers and a dark baseball cap with a letter “A” emblazoned on the front.

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UPDATED: ‘Emergency situation’ briefly shuts down Sierra Madre Police Department

SIERRA MADRE >> The Sierra Madre Police Department ceased handling calls for about an hour Sunday in response to an “emergency situation” at the police station, reportedly after someone brought a grenade to the facility.
Few details were initially available regarding the incident, which began about 4 p.m. at the police department, 242 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre police announced via Facebook that police services, both emergency and non-emergency, were being handled by the Monrovia Police Department, “Due to an emergency situation at the station.”
Sierra Madre police could not be reached for comment.
Officials did not confirm initial reports that the incident stemmed from someone bringing a grenade to the police station.
City officials announced the station has safe and police services returned to normal shortly after 5 p.m.

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Trucker found dead alongside 10 Freeway in San Dimas identified

SAN DIMAS >> Coroner’s officials Sunday identified a 55-year-old trucker found dead inside a big rig parked along the right shoulder of the 10 Freeway Saturday afternoon.
Luis Diaz-Jaramillo of Chula Vista was pronounced dead at the scene after he was discovered unresponsive in his big rig alongside the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of the 57 Freeway, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Firefighters first responded to the the incident as a medical emergency, however Diaz-Jaramillo’s cause of death had not yet been determined, officials said.
He had last been heard from the day before, when he contacted his dispatch center and conveyed that he was vomiting blood, Corral said. The man had a history of medical problems.
An autopsy was pending.

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