By Edwin Folven, 8/02/2012
A $50,000 reward was announced Tuesday for information that may help police solve the case of a murdered Hollywood resident whose head, hands and feet were found in January off a hiking trail near the Hollywood sign.
Investigators are still searching for the rest of the victim’s body, and are hoping the reward will prompt someone to come forward. On Jan. 17, two women were walking dogs on the trail near the 3200 block of Canyon Drive when one of the dogs found a plastic bag containing the victim’s severed head. Police later searched the area and found the victim’s hands and feet in a shallow grave near the location where the head was found.
Through fingerprints, coroner’s investigators subsequently identified the victim as 66-year-old Hervey Medellin Coronado, a retired Mexicana Airlines employee who lived in an apartment building at 6238 DeLongpre Ave. Medellin had reportedly lived at the apartment with his boyfriend, who reported him missing on Jan. 9. The boyfriend had spoken to Coronado as recently as Jan. 4, and is not considered a suspect. No motive for the murder has been established.
Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, 4th District, authored the motion for a reward, and said he was shocked when the body parts were initially found. LaBonge, an avid hiker in Griffith Park, added that he is very familiar with the trail near the location of the shallow grave.
“It’s extremely remote,” LaBonge said. “It’s not a trail the general hiker would use. I have a gut feeling that the person who did this was familiar with that area of the park. They didn’t just jump off the freeway to get there.”
The trail is near Bronson Canyon Park, a popular viewing location for the Hollywood Sign. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Det. Lisa Sanchez-Padilla or Det. Chuck Knolls, with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, at (213)486-6890.