ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Authorities have identified a 35-year-old stabbing victim whose body was found along the side of a road deep in the forest north of La Canada Flintridge last week.
A hiker discovered the remains of Anthony James Willis shortly before 1 p.m. on March 2 along mile marker 18.97 of Angeles Forest Highway, in the area of Big Tujunga Road, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
An autopsy found he died from “sharp force injuries,” he said. The death was ruled a homicide.
The body was found at the end of a 30-foot-long drainage ditch that channels storm water off of Angeles Forest Highway and into the forest, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said. It appeared the killer or killers dumped the body after fatally stabbing the victim at another unknown crime scene.
“It doesn’t appear that the murder occurred there. We think someone just placed the body there,” Mendoza said.
The lieutenant said he was not aware of any gang ties on the part of the victim.
Mendoza said the body did not yet show signs of decomposition and was likely placed in the forest within a day or days of its discovery.
He asked anyone who saw anything suspicious or unusual in the area in the days leading up to the discovery of the body to contact homicide detectives.
No further information was available Wednesday.
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.