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Detectives make ID of John Doe

Case being treated as a homicide after 32-year-old man’s body was found after brush fire near Gorman

Posted: July 28, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 28, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Homicide detectives trying to unravel the story behind skeletal remains of murder victim found near Gorman five months ago now know who their victim is, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department.

Coroner’s investigators revealed Sunday that the decomposed body found in mid-March by firefighters battling a 100-acre brush fire is a 32-year-old Hispanic man, Lt. Fred Corral told The Signal Sunday.

“We’ve been trying to contact his mother but we’ve been unable to get a hold of her,” he said.

Since March 17, when Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide Detective Karen Shonka said he was the victim of foul play, the victim has been identified only as John Doe #59.

“We’ve ID’d him but we still have to notify next of kin,” Corral said Sunday.

In March, Shonka and other detectives scoured the charred remains of a hillside in Gorman looking for clues. They were collecting bits of bone and other material in a bid to find out who the victim was and what killed him.

“We’re mode-ing it as a homicide,” she said at the time of the search.

“There were some injuries to the skull and at least one that leads us to believe a firearm was involved,” she said.

Shonka said the victim may have been dead for about four years.

Corral said he expects investigators to make contact with the victim’s mother this week.
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