BASSETT — Coroner’s officials Thursday released the name of a woman found dead on the conveyor belt at a trash sorting facility earlier this week.
The body of Kesha Williams, 45, was discovered about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday at Athens Services, 14048 E. Valley Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said. Her city of residence was not known.
An autopsy to determine how Williams died had not been completed Thursday, and handling detectives said it was not initially known whether the death involved foul play.
The body was brought to the facility in a trash container, officials said, though where the container may have originated was not clear.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
INDUSTRY — Deputies arrested an alleged auto thief Friday following a brief car chase and foot pursuit, authorities said.
Joaquin Garcia, 38, was arrested following the incident, which began shortly after 5 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. James Beamon said. His city of residence was not available.
A deputy spotted him driving a 2000 Hyundai that had been reported stolen near Amar Road and Baldwin Park Boulevard, at the northwest edge of Industry, the lieutenant said.
Garcia refused to pull over for the deputy, initiating a pursuit that ended in the 400 block of Santa Mariana Avenue in the unincorporated county area of Bassett, where the suspect abandoned the car and continued fleeing on foot, Beamon said. He was quickly apprehended by deputies.
According to county booking records, Garcia was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in El Monte Superior Court.
BASSETT — A man died early Friday in a solo-car crash along the 605 Freeway, authorities said.
Armando Salas, 38, of Bellflower died at the scene of the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
He was driving a 2008 Toyota Avalon southbound on the 605 Freeway, just north of the 60 Freeway in an unincorporated county area near Industry, “at a high rate of speed,” when the crash occurred, CHP officials said in a written statement.
For reasons currently under investigation, Salas was unable to maintain control of the vehicle and traveled in a westerly direction, where it left the roadway and traveled down the embankment bordering the I-605 to the west,” according to the statement. “The vehicle subsequently rolled several times and came to a rest in a (plant) nursery.”
Salas, who was the only person inside the Toyota, died from his injuries, officials said.
Officers from the East Los Angeles office of the CHP were continuing the investigation.
– Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales
BASSETT — Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will join other sheriff’s officials next month for a discussion on substance abuse.
The forum, titled “A Community United Against Substance Abuse,” will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at Evergreen Baptist Church, 323 Workman Mill Road, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff Baca and officials from the sheriff’s Industry Station hosted another meeting in La Puente last April to discuss law enforcement and quality of life issues, Lt. John Babbitt said.
There were many questions regarding drugs and drug abuse, and the sheriff commented that the issue deserved a meeting all of its own.
So he will join sheriff’s industry Station Capt. Timothy Murakami and patrol deputies to discuss prevention, education and recovery assistance, organizers said.
The event will include free hot dogs and children’s fingerprinting, and a raffle will be held.
For more information, contact Lt. Babbitt at 626-934-3071.
BASSETT — Authorities Thursday released the name of a 42-year-old man whose body was discovered last week at a waste processing facility.
The body of Mark Christopher David of Hollywood turned up in a dumpster just after noon Friday at Athens Services, 14048 E. Valley Boulevard, according to Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter. Sheriff’s officials described him as a transient from the Hollywood area.
Workers found the body on a conveyor belt used to sort recyclables from trash at the facility, Lt. Dave Dolson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
An autopsy was completed earlier this week, however an official cause of death had not been determined Thursday pending further tests, Winter said.
There were no signs of trauma on the body, and the autopsy revealed no internal injuries, Dolson said. It was initially believed that the dumpster the body arrived at Athens in had been picked up in the Hollywood area.
“At this point, it doesn’t look like it’s a homicide, but we haven’t completely ruled that out,” the lieutenant said. “There’s numerous possibilities.”
It was possible the man died in the dumpster, or was placed there by someone else after dying, Dolson added.
The ongoing investigation hinged on the final finding of the coroner’s office, he said. Toxicology results typically take between six and eight weeks.
BASSETT — Homicide detectives are investigating the discovery of a man’s body inside a trash bin at a waste processing facility Friday afternoon.
The body, initially described as that of a man appearing to be between 30 and 35 years old, was discovered about noon in a waste bin at Athens Services, 14048 E. Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Arthur Scott said.
The investigation remained in its early stages, however it appeared that the body may have been dead for about two days, the lieutenant said.
Sheriff’s activity was not visible from the street as trucks continued entering and exiting the facility Friday afternoon. Athens security personnel said there was no one available to comment, and did not allow reporters onto the private property.
Athens Chief Operating Officer Gary Clifford said the company was saddened by Friday’s discovery.
All employees of the facility were accounted for, he said.
“The sheriff’s department was called immediately,” Clifford said. “They’re handling the investigating.”
He added that Athens was cooperating fully with detectives, and grief counselors were made available to employees.
It was unclear where and when the body was collected before it arrived at Athens.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were handling the investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact the bureau at 323-890-5500.
No further details were available.
Friday’s discovery was not the first time human remains have turned up at the facility.
The body of a newborn infant girl was discovered at the trash-sorting facility Dec. 10, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials. She was initially listed as a Jane Doe as detectives worked to find out who she was and where she came from.
It was suspected the body had been placed into the trash somewhere in the San Gabriel Valley before it was ultimately deposited at the Athens plant, officials said. An update on the case was not available late Friday.
Another baby girl was found dead at the facility on June 10, 2002.
The body was believed to have been placed in the trash in Azusa, however the mother was never identified and the death continues to be investigated as a cold case.
She was buried under the name “Amanda,” which was given to her by detectives.
BASSETT — Deputies arrested a man already on probation for indecent exposure on suspicion of exposing and fondling himself Tuesday at Bassett Park, officials said.
Juan Roberto Martinez, 47, of La Puente, was booked on suspicion of indecent exposure following the incident, which took place shortly before 1 p.m. at Bassett Park, 510 N. Vineland Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
In addition to already being on probation for an indecent exposure conviction, Martinez was being sought on a $75,000 warrant for the same alleged crime, deputies from the Sheriff’s Parks Bureau said in a written statement.
“Mr. Martinez was standing in the restroom doorway allegedly exposing and fondling his genitals where the victim a female adult could see him,” the statement said.
Responding deputies found and arrested Martinez near a bathroom next to a playground at the park.
According to county booking records, Martinez was being held in lieu of $110,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
LA PUENTE — Residents of La Puente and the nearby collection of unincorporated communities along the Pomona (60) Freeway that make up the Valinda Corridor are invited to join Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and other officials next month at a town hall meeting.
The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. April 4 at St. Louis of France Church, 13935 East Temple Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Babbitt said.
The discussion will center around law enforcement and quality of life issued affecting communities in the corridor including La Puente, Bassett, Valinda, East Valinda, West Valinda, Avocado Heights and North Whittier. The area is patrolled by the sheriff’s Industry Station.
Joining Sheriff Baca will be newly-appointed Industry Station Capt. Tim Murakami and local deputies.
Free hot dogs and drinks will be provided, along with free children’s fingerprinting and a raffle.
For more information, contact Lt. Babbitt at 626-934-3071.
BASSETT — A man suffered serious injuries but was expected to survive Wednesday following a fight that escalated into a stabbing, officials said.
Both the suspect and victim in the 12:20 p.m. stabbing in the 13000 block of Valley Boulevard were believed to be members of the same El Monte street gang, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Raymond Enriquez said.
Few details were initially available, as the victim was not cooperating with investigators, the lieutenant said.
He was hospitalized with a punctured lung, Sgt. Desiree Rodriguez said.
Deputies set up a search perimeter to hunt for the attacker, who was not found, she added.
Both the stabbing suspect and victim were described as men in their late-teens or early 20s, Enriquez said. A further description of the suspect was not available Wednesday afternoon.
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