NORWALK >> Detectives continue seeking clues into the mysterious shotgun slaying of a father and son found fatally shot inside their Norwalk home earlier this week.
Walter Vicente, 49, and Andrew Vicente, 24, were found shot to death shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday at their house in the 12300 block of Gettysburg Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner officials said.
A family member, who was a son to the older victim and brother to the younger victim, found the men shot to death when he stopped by to visit, Lt. Dave Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. It was unclear when exactly the shooting took place, though it was believed to have been within a matter of a day or days.
No suspect has been identified in the double-homicide, and the motiveremains unclear.
“There’s nothing apparent that indicated it was a robbery,” Coleman said. The shots were fired from within the house, however there were no signs of forced entry into the home.
Walter Vicente’s body was discovered in the living room of the home, while Andrew Vicente’s body was found in an adjacent bedroom.
Neither the father or son appeared to have no ties to gang acivity, and investigators were aware of no one who would want to do them harm, the lieutenant said. Walter Vicente was a plumber, he said, adding that he believed his son was also involved in the trade.
“It’s a mystery,” Coleman said. “We just don’t have much at this time. We’re obviously going to get into their personal lives.”
Detectives were also still trying to determine the last time someone saw the father and son alive.
An autopsy determined the men both died from shotgun wounds to the head, and both cases were ruled homicides, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
An exact time of death was not clear, however coroner’s reports indicated a neighbor reported hearing possibly gunfire shortly after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Anyone with information was aksed to contact 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.
PHOTOS of Walter Vicente, 49, of Norwalk (above) and Andrew Vicente, 24, of Norwalk (below) courtesy of the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
NORWALK >> One man died and another was wounded when gunfire erupted at a Norwalk park late Saturday, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 9:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Gerdes Park in the 14700 block of Gridley Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“Homicide detectives have learned that two victims were standing in the parking lot of the location with a group of males when a male adult approached and began firing,” deputies from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. “The suspect then fled on foot to a waiting dark color sedan. The suspect vehicle was last seen heading southbound on Gridley Road and out of view.”
No further suspect description was available Sunday.
Deputies found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. Paramedics pronounced one of the victims dead at the scene. Coroner’s officials withheld his identity Sunday pending notification of his family.
The second victim was hospitalized in stable condition and expected to survive his injuries, Sgt. Ralph Gama said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 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.
NORWALK >> Homicide detectives are investigating the fatal shooting of a man inside a Norwalk home Friday afternoon, officials said.
It was unclear whether the shooting death was a crime, an accident or a suicide as the investigation remained in its early stages, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Cynthia Chavez said.
A resident of the 12000 block of Nava Street first called deputies at 2:37 p.m. to report hearing a gunshot inside a neighbor’s home, the lieutenant said.
Deputies arrived to find a man who had been shot, she said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were summoned to the scene to investigate.
SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Caltrans is kicking off three weeks of overnight closures of both directions of the 5 Freeway in Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk Friday as crews demolish the old Carmenita Road Bridge as part of an ongoing construction project, officials said.
The entire 5 Freeway between Valley View Avenue in Santa Fe Springs and Rosecrans Avenue in Norwalk will be closed from midnight to 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, as well as from 11 p.m. Fridays to 7 a.m. Saturdays, Caltrans officials said in a written statement.
The closure will allow workers to demolish the old two-lane Carmenita Road bridge spanning the freeway, officials said.
The new 10-lane bridge was opened to traffic on July 3, although until new ramps are constructed, only four lanes are accessible in each direction.
The westbound 91 Freeway connector to the northbound 5 Freeway will also be shut down nighty between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., as well as the southbound 605 Freeway connector to the southbound 5 Freeway.
The construction project will widen the 5 Freeway between Alondra Avenue and Shoemaker Avenue with an additional carpool lane and an additional general use lane in each direction. The shoulders are also being widened, and a center median built.
For more information, visit www.my5la.com/carmenita-road-interchange.
PHOTOS courtesy of Caltrans
NORWALK >> Deputies checking on a report of a suspicious van discovered the body of a man inside the vehicle in the parking lot of a Norwalk clothing store Friday, officials said.
The discovery was made shortly after 5 p.m. in a van parked outside T.J. Maxx, at Firestone and Pioneer boulevards, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Smitson said.
A witness called authorities to report that a van had been parked in the lot for several days and was emitting a foul odor, the lieutenant said.
Deputies opened the van to discover the body of man in the rear portion, he said. It initially appeared the man may have been living out of the van.
Homicide detectives responded to the scene to take over the investigation, Smitson said. It was not initially clear whether or not the death may have involved foul play.
Anyone with information can reach the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
NORWALK >> A man accused of sexually assaulting and fatally stabbing his disabled neighbor in Norwalk before fleeing to Guatemala returned to the U.S. Friday to face charges, authorities said.
Luis Fernando Diofron, also known as Luis Fernando Diofron Lemus, 22, was extradited back to Los Angeles County via LAX following his Dec. 4 arrest in San Miguel, Escuinta, Guatemala, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Diofron is suspected in the brutal stabbing death of 50-year-old Denise Battey Aug. 10, 2012, at her home in the 11900 block of Allard Street, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials
He’s charged with murder, with the special circumstances of rape and burglary, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
After Diofron allegedly fled the country, federal authorities also charged the suspect with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. But the federal case is expected to be dismissed as the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes the murder case.
Diofron, who was living near Battey while in the U.S. on a work visa, attacked and sexually assaulted Battery as she watered her garden, according to sheriff’s officials and her twin sister, Annese Battey.
He then dragged her inside her home and stabbed her to death, authorities allege.
Denise Battey worked as a system support analyst for the U.S. Social Security Administration and tutored students in college preparation part time, according to her twin sister, Annese Battey. She was an avid gardener and a classic movie buff.
And the victim was defenseless against her attacker, authorities and family members said. She had just undergone back surgery and suffered from severe sciatica in her left leg.
Diofron was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
PHOTOS: TOP: Murder suspect Luis Fernando Diofron (courtesy). BELOW: Homicide victim Denise Battey (courtesy)
NORWALK >> A gunman fled with cash and cell phones after robbing a Rosecrans Avenue wireless store Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The robber showed up about 3:30 p.m. at Cricket Wireless, 11617 Rosecrans Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Shawn Kehoe said.
He brandished a handgun as he stole cash from the store’s register, as well as cell phones, Kehoe said. The robber ordered the two employees into the store’s bathroom before fleeing.
The robber was last seen leaving the store on foot, the lieutenant said. A detailed suspect description was not available.
NORWALK >> Detectives are seeking a party bus that struck a Norwalk man and dragged him more than 200 feet before fleeing the scene early Saturday, officials said.
Efren Virgen, 26, was crossing Fairford Avenue, just south of Ratcliffe Street, about 2:30 a.m. when he was struck by southbound bus, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“The victim was dragged by the vehicle for over 200 feet and suffered major injuries,” Detective Carl Anna said in a written statement.
Rescuers took Virgen to a hospital, where he was in critical-but-stable condition in an intensive care unit Saturday afternoon, Lt. Eric Smitson said.
A witnesses described the bus as a black party bus of the type rented out by groups for special occasions, the detective said. “As the suspect’s vehicle drove past the witnesses, he saw that the interior neon lights were flashing, and heard music coming from inside.”
The bus was last seen heading west on Foster Road, Anna said.
“We are looking for witnesses to come forward that were either on the above ‘party bus,’ or have knowledge of any similar vehicle that may have been in the Norwalk area at or near the indicated time,” Anna said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
NORWALK >> Sheriff’s deputies will screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses Thursday during a nighttime checkpoint, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place between 6 p.m. Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. The location of the checkpoint has not been disclosed.
Over the past three years in the cities and unincorporated areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, “DUI collisions have claimed 22 lives and resulted in 898 injury crashes harming 1,330 of our friends and neighbors,” Sgt. Daniel Dail of the Traffic Services Detail said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NORWALK >> Authorities arrested a man in Guatemala early Thursday in connection with the brutal stabbing death of a 50-year-old woman at her Norwalk home in 2012, officials and the victim’s sister said.
Luis Diofron, 22, is accused of sexually assaulting and fatally stabbing Denise Battey in the early-morning hours of Aug. 10, 2012, at her home in the 11900 block of Allard Street, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and Battey’s twin sister, Annese Battey.
Investigators recently received a tip that Diofron, whom they had been seeking for more than two years, had been spotted near Guatemala City, Detective Ray Lugo of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. Guatemalan police, along with FBI agents, arrested the alleged killer without a struggle Thursday morning.
Annese Battey said she was notified of the arrest Thursday morning.
“My family is just ecstatic,” she said. But the sense of justice that came with the arrest was accompanied by many painful memories.
“It’s bitter-sweet,” she said. “Everyone is breaking down. This is a day you just hope and wish for.”
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PHOTOS of Denise Battey, above, and Luis Diofron, below. (Courtesy)