AZUSA >> The body of a 27-year-old dancer reported missing in West Covina earlier this week was discovered along a forest road north of Azusa Saturday morning, authorities confirmed Sunday.
Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes of West Covina disappeared Sept. 5.
Reyes’ car was found with its engine running and his wallet and laptop computer inside in the 1500 block of McWood Street in West Covina, causing family members to fear something had happened to him.
Their worst fears were confirmed Sunday, when police conformed the body was that of Reyes.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, along with the San Dimas Search and Rescue team, found the body about 10:15 a.m. Saturday along mile marker 2.5 of San Gabriel Canyon Road, in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives soon realized the body was related to the West Covina missing person case, and the investigation was turned over to the West Covina Police Department.
“West Covina Police have been involved in an intense investigation that started with the disappearance of Rahkeem Reyes six days ago,” West Covina police Lt. David Lee said. “Their investigation led them to the area in Azusa Canyon where his body was found.”
Meanwhile, investigators have arrested a man on suspicion of murder in connection with Reyes’ death.
West Covina police arrested Phillip Von Wade, 20, of West Covina during the early-morning hours Thursday, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Reyes, a professional dancer, was last known to be with Wade before he disappeared, Hampton said.
Information regarding the motive in the killing was not available Sunday. The relationship between the victim and suspect remained under investigation, Lee said.
Reyes, a professional dancer, was last known to be with Wade before he disappeared, Reyes’ girlfriend, Christina Oliver, said in an email.
Reyes had hired Wade to make a costume for him several months ago for between $700 and $900, but it was never completed, Oliver said.
Reyes went to Wade’s house in West Covina on the afternoon of Sept. 5 in order to be fitted for a portion of the costume, she said. She began looking for him when he never came home.
Oliver said her boyfriend had no enemies.
“There was no reason For anyone to be mad at Rocky,” Oliver said. “He is not gang related, he doesn’t do drugs, he doesn’t drink nor does he owe anyone money.”
Coroner’s investigators have yet to determine Reyes’ cause of death.
Wade was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pomona branch.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTOS: [ABOVE] – Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes, 27, of West Covina. (Courtesy) [BELOW] – Phillip Von Wade, 20, of West Covina. (Courtesy)
WEST COVINA >> Police in West Covina have arrested a man in connection with this week’s “suspicious” disappearance of a 27-year-old professional dancer, but released little information about the case, according to officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes, 27, of West Covina disappeared Monday, according to West Covina police officials and Ronda Hampton of the organization REACH for Mental Health Awareness, who assisted the family in the early stages of the search. He’s not been seen or heard from since.
His car was found later the same day in the 1500 block of McWood Street, police confirmed late Friday.
The engine was running, with the keys in the ignition, Hampton said. Property belonging to Reyes, including his laptop computer and wallet, were found inside the car, she added. Police declined to confirm those details.
In a written statement issued Friday night, West Covina police announced “the arrest of an adult has been made,” but provided no further details, including what crime the suspect was accused of.
“The name (of the suspect) and details of this arrest is not being released at this time as this is an active and fluid investigation,” according to the statement.
Hampton said Reyes was last seen with a man named Phillip Wade at about 5:40 p.m. Monday.
While police refused to release information about the arrest Friday, county booking records show West Covina police arrested Phillip Von Wade, 20, on suspicion of a felony at 12:27 a.m. Thursday.
Alleged crimes are not listed on the county’s booking system, however Wade was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, which is consistent with an allegation of a serious crime carrying a possible life sentence.
Wade is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing Monday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Hampton described Reyes as a professional dancer who has performed in dance videos, movies, commercials and live performances.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8556. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
WEST COVINA >> Police and worried family members are searching for a professional dancer of West Covina who disappeared earlier this week.
Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes, 27, was last seen Monday, according to West Covina police officials and family friend Ronda Hampton.
His car was found later in the day in the 1500 block of McWood Street, Hampton said.
“His car was found running with the keys in the ignition and with all of his belongings in the car, including his laptop, wallet and other personal belongings, however, he was nowhere to be found,” she said.
“Rocky is a 27-year old professional dancer who has danced in several dance videos, movies, commercials and live stage performances,” Hampton said. “His family is very concerned about him as he has never gone missing and they are concerned that he may be in danger.”
Police confirmed they were investigating the disappearance as a person missing under suspicious circumstances, but declined to discuss the case in detail Thursday, citing the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information can reach the West Covina Police Department at 626-939-8500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> The search continues for a father and husband from Azusa who mysteriously vanished in the Angeles National Forest in July.
Christopher Jay Poland, 40, disappeared July 14 after visiting family along East Fork Road in the Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
His car was found abandoned along the side of Glendora Ridge Road near mile marker 10 later the same day, Lt. Tamar Abraham of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau
Missing Person’s Detail. But Poland has not been seen or heard from since.
Family members have already searched the area near where Poland’s car was found, along with sheriff’s search and rescue team members, with no sign of the missing man, according to Poland’s mother, Donna Poland. The family is planning another small search party this weekend.
“It’s difficult, but we’re hanging in there,” she said. Christopher Poland has a wife and 14-year-old son.
The mother said she didn’t want to let the search lapse.
“I just want to keep it out there,” Donna Poland said.
One of the hardest parts of the situation is not knowing what happened to her son, she said.
“Dear God, please just bring him back. We will handle it if it’s bad news,” she said. “We’re going to find him.”
Christopher Poland’s car showed no signs of collision damage when it was found parked along the side of the road, Abraham said.
The car had apparently been hurriedly pulled to the side of the road, as it ended up facing the wrong direction in a turnout and parked partially on the roadway, the mother added.
And his car showed no signs of a mechanical problem, Donna Poland said. “It started right up.”
Poland had no diagnosed medical conditions, but had complained recently that he hadn’t been feeling well, his mother said.
Family had encouraged him to see a doctor due to recent bouts of forgetfulness, but he had yet to do so.
Donna Poland said she’d recently heard that there had been a report of a man seen acting strangely along Glendora Ridge Road on the same day her son went missing, but was awaiting further details from forest rangers.
Donna Poland said she’s been astonished by the outpouring of support the family has received so far.
“A lot of people, who we have no idea who they are, have been searching for him,” she said. “It’s been pretty darn wonderful.”
One man has been offering the use of his drone to aid in the search, and a friend has been searching the area on a dirt bike.
Christopher Poland grew up in Lake Arrowhead and is an experienced outdoorsman, his mother said. The family is holding out hope he will be found safe.
“We just don’t want to give up,” Donna Poland said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Abraham or Sgt. Nunez at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Missing Person’s Detail at 323-890-5500.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Coroner’s officials Wednesday confirmed that skeletal remains found near an overgrown SUV crash scene in the Angeles National Forest near Mt. Wilson last week are those of a 47-year-old Sunland woman who went missing more than two years ago.
Kimberly Ann Blum, 47, was last seen on June 5, 2014, after leaving her sister’s home in La Crescenta, according to Los Angeles police investigators and her mother, Rosalie Blum.
After more than two years with no answers as to the circumstances of her disappearance, authorities discovered Blum’s Honda CRV SUV on Aug. 24, more than 500 feet over the side of Angeles Crest Highway, near mile marker 41.69, Lt. Steve Jauch of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Skeletal remains were found near the SUV, which was being overgrown with weeds and foliage, the lieutenant said. But the remains remained officially unidentified due to the condition of the remains.
Coroner’s investigators determined through dental record comparison that the person found dead at the apparent crash scene was, in fact, Kimberly Blum, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Chief of Operations Brian Elias said.
Blum’s cause of death remained under investigation, Elias said.
PHOTO of Kimberly Blum, courtesy
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A crashed and overgrown SUV found near a set of skeletal remains deep in the Angeles National Forest near Mt. Wilson has been connected to a Sunland woman who disappeared just over two years ago after leaving her sister’s home in La Crescenta, authorities said Thursday.
The silver Honda CRV was discovered Tuesday, more than 500 feet over the side of Angeles Crest Highway, near mile marker 41.69, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. The SUV was becoming overgrown with weeds and foliage.
Searchers returned to the apparent crash scene Wednesday morning, where they discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified person, Lt. Steve Jauch of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. The age or gender of the person whose remains were found was not clear. Jauch declined to speculate on how long the SUV and remains had been there.
The Honda has been “connected” to Kimberly Blum, who was reported missing by her family on June 5, 2014, at age 45, Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Blum briefly stopped by her sister’s house in the 2000 block of Cinco Casitas Lane in La Crescenta, where a graduation party was being held for her niece, her mother, Rosalie Blum, said last year.
Surveillance camera footage shows Blum walking away from her sister’s home and driving off in a silver Honda CRV.
She was never seen or heard from again.
The only sign of Blum was a small bag containing medication and other personal items belonging to her that was found along the side of Angeles Crest Highway, 21 miles north of the 210 Freeway, in the early days of the search for her.
Anyone with information was asked to contact LAPD Detective Cletus Carlton at 213-996-1800.
ARCADIA >> An elderly man from China who went missing in Arcadia while visiting family Thursday morning turned up safe Thursday night, police said.
Tong Huang, 78, was reported missing after he went for a walk in Arcadia and failed to return, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement. The senior, who speaks only Mandarin, was visiting family from China and had been in the U.S. for about a month.
But the search was called off after Huang was found safe and reunited with his family Thursday night, police said.
A good Samaritan spotted Huang at a Pasadena supermarket late Thursday and thought he appeared lost, Lt. Tom Cullen said.
The good Samaritan provided Huang with a ride home, he said. Once there, Huang’s family notified police that he had returned home safely.
ARCADIA >> Police are seeking a 78-year-old man visiting Arcadia from China who went for a walk and never returned Thursday morning.
Tong Huang was last seen about 7:30 a.m. on the area Huntington Drive and Sunset Boulevard, Arcadia police said in a written statement.
Huang, who is visiting family in Arcadia, has been in the U.S. for about a month and speaks only Mandarin, police said.
“Mr. Huang has been in the habit of taking a morning walk and did so this morning, however, did not return as usual,” according to the police statement. “He has no money, no phone, and no destination other than the Arcadia relatives. Mr. Huang is in good health.”
He’s described as Asian, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white shirt, gray pants and black shoes.
Anyone who spots Huang is asked to contact local law enforcement, or Arcadia police at 626-574-5123.
PHOTO of Tong Huang courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.
LA HABRA >> Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for a missing 18-year-old La Habra woman, as well as her ex-boyfriend, who investigators described as a “person of interest.”
Emily Casillas was last seen about 8 a.m. Thursday at the Molcasalsa restaurant, 2340 W. Whittier Blvd., La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
She was in a black, four-door, 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante sedan with a California license plate of 5BNS284, police said.
“Emily may be in the company of her ex-boyfriend,” according to the statement.
Police identified the ex-boyfriend as 22-year-old Francisco Corral.
Further details regarding the circumstances of Casillas’ disappearance were not available Friday afternoon.
Casillas is described as Latina, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 120 pounds, with black hair with green tips and brown eyes. She has a tattoo of the word “Edgar” on her upper back, and was last seen wearing pajamas of an unknown color.
Anyone who spots Casillas, Corral or the Mitsubishi is asked to contact local police, or the La Habra Police Department at 562-383-4300.
PHOTOS courtesy of the La Habra Police Department.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Sheriff’s officials asked the public’s help Thursday in finding a 40-year-old man who disappeared in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora last month and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Christopher Jay Poland, a Los Angeles County resident, was last seen about 2:30 a.m. on July 14 as he drove away from a relative’s home on East Fork Road, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriffs’ Information Bureau
“Later that same day, Mr. Poland’s vehicle was located on Glendora Ridge Road near mile marker 10,” Navarro-Suarez said.
“His family is very concerned and is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Mr. Poland,” she said.
Poland is 6 feet 2 inches tall, 220 pounds, with short blond hair and blue eyes. He has a scar below his chin; a tattoo of a tree on his right, lower leg; a tattoo of a starfish on his left elbow; and two Viking tattoos on his upper back.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Nunez or Detective Abraham of the sheriff’s Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.