Homicide Investigators Probe Death of Woman Found in Whittier Backyard; Relative Arrested

A homicide investigation was underway in Whittier after a woman was found dead in a backyard on Friday, and a male relative was arrested, officials said.

Police respond to a homicide investigation in Whittier on May 4, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Police respond to a homicide investigation in Whittier on May 4, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

The incident was reported about 12:15 p.m. in the 12800 block of Stardell Street, Whittier Police Department officials said in a Facebook post.

Police found the woman dead in the backyard of a home. Officers then arrested a man at the scene who is related to the victim, but police did not elaborate on the relationship.

The suspect had blood on him at the time of his arrest, detectives confirmed. A second woman who was in the home at the time was also being questioned.

No other suspects were sought in the incident and there was no additional threat to the community, police said.

Authorities were releasing few details, it appeared even to loved ones. A distraught family was at the home Friday night, pleading with detectives to confirm the victim's identity.

It was unclear how the victim died, but aerial video from Sky5 showed the woman lying face down and covered in blood. What appeared to be garden tools were lying nearby.

A German Shepherd stands next to a woman's dead body in the backyard of a Whittier home on May 4, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

A German Shepherd stands next to a woman's dead body in the backyard of a Whittier home on May 4, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

"There were a few things that were overturned," Whittier Police Lt. Michael Przybyl said of the crime scene. "It looks like there may have been a little bit of a struggle."

A German shepherd was also seen in aerial video running around the yard and near the victim. The dog was later seen limping after police were apparently chasing it with a rifle-style weapon, aerial video showed.

"The way the dog was reacting to the officers, the officers were concerned that the dog was aggressive," Przybyl said.

Estelle Flores, who lives nearby, said she tried to capture the pet as it roamed the neighborhood but was unable to. "I hope that he's OK," she said.

The dog remained at large Friday night.

Flores described the crime scene as "gruesome."

Another neighbor, Linda Barns, said she was "completely stunned" that a homicide had occurred there.

"I know everybody says that but honestly, it's true," she told KTLA. "You can walk here at night without a problem."

No further details about the victim or suspect have been released.

KTLA's Erika Martin contributed to this report.