Missing woman found dead in car

WHITTIER – A woman was found dead in the back seat of a car early this morning, deputies said.
The grisly discovery was made about 2:20 a.m. in the 11700 block of Santa Gertrudes Avenue which is in the unincorporated county area of Whittier.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Raul Gama said people passing by noticed a strange smell and saw the body in the back of the vehicle. He said it could be connected to a missing person’s case out of Pico Rivera.
There were no details released on the missing person.
Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which also handles missing persons, is investigating the case. Detectives couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.
Coroner’s officials haven’t identified the body yet and haven’t determined how long the body had been in the car before being discovered.

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Illegal horse races suspected in Pico wash

There are rumors of an underground horse racing in the Whittier Narrows wash posted on a Bethania Palma story about a dead horse found in El Monte. Here’s what sallysays wrote in the Topix Forum:

I have two horses at Whittier Equestrian Center and every once in awhile a group of about 75 to 100 people (mostly spectators) go out on the trail and race horses so hard their noses were bleeding, they bet on horses and drink beer. They throw their trash on the ground. They block the trails and ride aggressively towards you if you dare ride where they are racing. I did, they rode towards me and my horse threw me off. Once we got back to the stables we called the Whitter P.D., the County Police, Temple City Police, and El Monte. Every Police Dept. kept saying not our job. Finally, one call to Pico Rivera Sheriff’s got at least 4 cars and a helicopter. All the bad guys left. They came back the next couple of weekends but so did Pico Rivera Sheriff’s when we called. Finally, the bad quit showing up! Thank you Pico Rivera Sheriffs!

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Seeking answers

Every now and then I’ll get mail asking if I remember a particular crime, or if I can find out some information about it. Usually I promise to get back to the author, but find myself swamped in the events of the day and put it aside.

I hoping that by sharing these two letters with Crime Scene readers, you all can help me provide some facts. Here’s the first:

How u doing Frank, Won’t take to much of your time. I grew up in Pico and graduated from EL RANCHO in 1979. As a kid I lived on Olympic blvd near North Ranchito. Address was 8726 Olympic blvd. I’m currently a 21 year LAPD police officer, I’m trying to find an old 1970’s murder/suicide case which occurred at my next door neighbors on Olympic. I believe it involved a police officer who lived there. I was only a kid maybe 3rd or 4th grade. Thanks for your time,

Anyone remember this?

Here’s the second letter, which I received earlier this week:

I have contacted you before on some of your stories/articles in the past.
The purpose of my email to you is due to a horrific event that occurred in
Whittier which I don’t think I will ever forget. Around 2000 or 2001 a
young lady was murdered by being set on fire in a Whittier alley behind a
auto shop. She was kidnapped by a father and his stepson after they robbed
her of her paycheck, tied her up and then set her on fire, alive. For some
reason I wish to remember her by her name and/or picture and not as a Jane

So, can we help these guys?


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From the overnight notes

More cutting and pasting. This time there’s three sources. First, Kate Kealy, night editor, reports:

 Whit: NORWALK — The sentencing for a gang member convicted of killing a rival during a car-to-car shooting in Pico Rivera was continued to Sept. 22.

This story added to Trib A4:

POMONA — A man who repeatedly called Rep. David Dreier’s district office in San Dimas and threatened to kill the congressman has pleaded no contest to a felony charge of threatening a government official.

Brian Day, night cops reporter, was following these stories:

Hacienda Heights: There may have been a “borderline” home invasion robbery Thursday.

La Puente: The 76 station at Sunset and Temple was robbed about 2:30 p.m. A silver semi-automatic handgun was used.

Walnut: An armed robbery was reported about 4:20 p.m. near 130 Avenida Alipaz. (near Lemon creek park)

Finally, from CA Breaking News on Twitter:

 Perp* Area of Graystone@Grand;Monrovia; MPD searching area for subject fleeing from Police ….

Guess What? Monrovia PD denies it happened this morning ….

Same stuff different day! 



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Detectives seek killers of man who tried to stop taggers

This is a press release from Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office. It came just two days after an emotional hearing before the Supes about the deaths of Good Samaritans who try to stop graffiti vandals throughout the county:

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina will join Lieutenant Gil Carrillo of the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division to publicize a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of Luis Sandoval, a 71-year-old East Los Angeles resident who was shot in the abdomen after witnessing two males spray-painting graffiti on the side of a business located at the corner of East Olympic Boulevard and South Hicks Avenue. 

Mr. Sandoval had been riding his bicycle home and lived just four houses away from the scene of the crime.  Though the shooting took place on February 25, 2007, Mr. Sandoval died approximately four months later on June 13, 2007.  Authorities have since confirmed that his death was due directly to the injuries he sustained as a result of the shooting and are now asking for the public’s help to solve this homicide–the third graffiti-related killing to occur in the First District.  (Robert Whitehead of Valinda was shot and killed in March 2006 while trying to stop graffiti taggers from spray-painting his neighbor’s garage; Maria Hicks of Pico Rivera was shot and killed in August 2007 while trying to stop graffiti taggers from spray-painting a wall in her neighborhood.) 

Surviving relatives of Luis Sandoval will be available at tomorrow’s press conference for interviews and pictures of the crime scene will be on display.
“Luis Sandoval was a hard-working, retired steel worker with a large family whose only transgression was being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Molina said.  “The anguish his death has caused his family is indescribable–and it is particularly painful to the community since it is the third graffiti-related homicide to take place in the First Supervisorial District.  It is my sincere hope that this $25,000 reward compels someone to bring information forward that will help us catch the people responsible for Luis Sandoval’s murder.”

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Cops seek Pico flasher

Detectives from the Pico Rivera substation sought a man who flashed three young girls Monday afternoon in Pico Rivera.

The girls, described as 11 and 12 said the flasher was a male hispanic in his 40s with dark hair, a mustache.

“He was dark skinned, heavy set and short,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Maria Gutierrez said.

The man was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and black pants, Gutierrez said. There is no composite drawing available.

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