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Victim identified in Hollywood human head mystery

23 january 2012, 10:16
Los Angeles police have identified the victim whose severed head and other parts were found near the world-famous Hollywood sign, AFP reports citing the LA coroner's office.

As police claimed progress in the hunt for his killer, the dead man was named as 66-year-old Hervey Medellin, who was a former employee of Mexicana Airlines, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Detectives have searched an apartment block near to Sunset Boulevard linked to the victim, it reported, but no arrests have so far been made over the gruesome find on a hiking trail leading up to the Hollywood sign.

"Detectives are continuing to make investigative progress on the case, and will release more details and developments when they can," said Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spokesman Richard French.

Two female dogwalkers made the initial discovery Tuesday after noticing one of their dogs playing with an object, which on closer inspection turned out to be the human head, in a bag.

The LAPD closed the park entrance near where the head was found in Bronson Canyon, and subsequently found the hands and feet in an operation involving up to 100 police and park rangers.

Police believe the victim had only been dead for a few days at most.

The human remains were found in Bronson Canyon, long used as a location for movie and TV productions, not far from what are known locally as the Bat Caves, where the TV Batman series was filmed.

A bodyguard of Hollywood star Brad Pitt was among local residents interviewed about the grisly find, but only because the security man lives close to the bottom of the hiking trail.

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