Story Summary

Body Parts Found in LA County Wastewater System

A pelvis and legs were found at a Carson wastewater plant operated by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County on Saturday, Oct. 26. A torso was found at another county plant near Whittier on Monday, Oct. 28. The case was being investigated as a homicide.

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Authorities investigating the discovery of a woman’s body parts, which were found in multiple areas of the Los Angeles County public sewer system last month, announced the victim’s name on Tuesday.

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The Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson. (Credit: KTLA)

The victim was identified as 27-year-old Erin Lynn Cruz from the East San Gabriel area, according to Nicole Nishida of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Cruz had last been seen alive Oct. 23 in the La Puente area, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities asked for help from anyone who had seen Cruz after Oct. 23.

When a left arm was discovered Oct. 31 at a wastewater treatment plant at 24500 S. Figueroa St., it was the third time in a week that body parts had been found in the public sewer system.

A woman’s torso and head were found Oct. 28 at the San Jose Water Reclamation Plant, a wastewater treatment site near Whittier.

At the time, investigators said that upper torso was believed to match a pelvis and set of legs found on Oct. 26 at the Carson plant, the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant, one of the largest wastewater plants in the world.

All of the body parts were believed to belong to the same body, which was likely pulled apart in the wastewater system, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mike Rosson.

The body was likely dumped through a manhole into the “closed” county sewer system, Rosson said.

Anyone with information was encouraged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477, or text the letters TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

A woman’s left arm was found at a Los Angeles County wastewater treatment plant Thursday, marking the third time in a week that body parts have been found in the public sewer system.

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Authorities responding to the Joint Pollution Control Plant in Carson on Thursday, where workers have reported finding body parts twice in one week. (Credit: KTLA)

The gruesome discovery was made Thursday morning by an employee at the treatment plant at 24500 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mike Rosson said.

Authorities had been expecting to find an arm after other body parts were found within recent days, including a discovery at the same Carson location five days earlier.

On Monday, authorities retrieved the upper torso and head of a woman, thought to be Hispanic, from the San Jose Water Reclamation Plant, a wastewater treatment site near Whittier operated by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.

That upper torso was believed to match a pelvis and set of legs found on Oct. 26 at the Carson plant, the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant, one of the largest wastewater plants in the world.

The two plants, more than 20 miles apart, are directly linked, authorities said.

Thursday’s finding at the Carson plant is believe to belong the same body, which was pulled apart in the wastewater system, Rosson said. The arm was found in a different part of the plant than the pelvis and legs.

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Homicide detectives were responding Monday, Oct. 28, to the discovery of human remains at a county wastewater treatment plant near Whittier. (Credit: KTLA)

The body was likely dumped last Friday or Saturday through a manhole into the “closed” county sewer system, he said.

“Obviously, it didn’t come from a home because those lines are too small,” he said. “Somewhere in a street…would be the easiest to for someone to actually dispose of a body.”

The woman’s body had discernible tattoos, Rosson said, but authorities are not yet releasing information about that as their homicide investigation continues.

KLTA’s Chip Yost and Soumada Khan contributed to this report.

An investigation continued Tuesday after the torso of a woman was found submerged at a wastewater treatment facility Monday in the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said. The remains are believed to be related to a pelvis and legs found at facility in Carson two days earlier.

body-foundThe upper torso was discovered about 9:30 a.m. in a tank in the 1900 block of Workman Mill Road (map) in the unincorporated area of Bassett, near Whittier and the City of Industry, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The case was being treated as a homicide, sheriff’s Lt. Mike Rosson said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The upper torso is believed to match a pelvis and set of legs found separately at a water treatment facility in Carson on Oct. 26, he said.

“Obviously, there’s two parts. It makes sense, but everything’s going to have to be confirmed by the coroner through DNA,” Rosson said.

The body, that of a woman who was “possibly Hispanic,” could have been flushed through any sewer line 18 inches or wider from a site upstream of the Bassett plant, he said. It was found when workers were checking for a “plug” in the line.

The body, likely pulled apart inside the sewage system, was still missing a left arm, Rosson said.

“We do not believe that it was a mutilation. We believe it’s some kind of mechanical mutilation of the body that happened during the pumping process or the separation process in the plants,” Rosson said.

Asked about the victim’s head, Rosson noted that crews  were draining the tank and a hazardous materials team planned to enter the closed space where a head could possibly be found.

The body parts found Monday appeared to be submerged in liquid in a covered pool at the San Jose Water Reclamation Plant, a wastewater treatment site operated by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, aerial video showed.

The finding of human remains in Carson occurred in 24500 block of South Figueroa Street, where the county’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant, one of the largest wastewater plants in the world, is located. The two plants, more than 20 miles apart, are directly linked.

Body parts have been found in wastewater treatment plants before, Rosson said.

Anyone with information about a missing female was encouraged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477 (TIP), or text the letters TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

KTLA’s Christina Pascucci contributed to this report.

The torso of an unidentified and possibly Hispanic woman found submerged at a wastewater treatment facility in the San Gabriel Valley Monday is believed to be related to a pelvis and legs found in another facility in Carson two days before, authorities said.

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Homicide detectives were responding Monday, Oct. 28, to the discovery of human remains at a county wastewater treatment plant near Whittier. (Credit: KTLA)

The upper torso was discovered about 9:30 a.m. in a tank in the 1900 block of Workman Mill Road (map) in the unincorporated area of Bassett, near Whittier and the City of Industry, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The case was being treated as a homicide, sheriff’s Lt. Mike Rosson said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The upper torso is believed to match a pelvis and set of legs found separately at a water treatment facility in Carson on Oct. 26, he said.

“Obviously, there’s two parts. It makes sense, but everything’s going to have to be confirmed by the coroner through DNA,” Rosson said.

The body, that of a woman who was “possibly Hispanic,” could have been flushed through any sewer line 18 inches or wider from a site upstream of the Bassett plant, he said. It was found when workers were checking for a “plug” in the line.

The body, likely pulled apart inside the sewage system, was still missing a left arm, Rosson said.

“We do not believe that it was a mutilation. We believe it’s some kind of mechanical mutilation of the body that happened during the pumping process or the separation process in the plants,” Rosson said.

Asked about the victim’s head, Rosson noted that crews  were draining the tank and a hazardous materials team planned to enter the closed space where a head could possibly be found.

The body parts found Monday appeared to be submerged in liquid in a covered pool at the San Jose Water Reclamation Plant, a wastewater treatment site operated by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, aerial video showed.

The finding of human remains in Carson occurred in 24500 block of South Figueroa Street, where the county’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant, one of the largest wastewater plants in the world, is located. The two plants, more than 20 miles apart, are directly linked.

Body parts have been found in wastewater treatment plants before, Rosson said.

Anyone with information about a missing female was encouraged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477 (TIP), or text the letters TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

KTLA’s Christina Pascucci contributed to this report.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials on Saturday were investigating the discovery of possible human remains in Carson, authorities said.

joint-water-pollution-control-plant

(Credit: KTLA)

Homicide Bureau detectives responded to the 24500 block of South Figueroa Street at 8:11 a.m., according to a statement issued by the Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators were seen at the Los Angeles County Sanitation District’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant, which is located in an industrial area of the city.

“If it is determined that the remains are that of a human, [the] Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner will determine the age, sex and identity at a later date,” the statement said.

Anyone with information regarding the incident was encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous may do so by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or by texting the letters TIPLA and the tip to 274637.

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