Homicide Victim Had Preached on Night He Was Killed, Family Members Say

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Homicide detectives on Monday were investigating the death of a 67-year-old man whose body was found in a home in the South Los Angeles area after he was apparently strangled, authorities said.


Image of Earnest Brannon provided by family members.

Investigators responded about 10:43 p.m. Sunday to a house in the 1100 block of West 98th Street, where a female homeowner had made the grim discovery in a bedroom, according to Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The homeowner ran next door and alerted a neighbor after finding the body.

“As soon as I got inside the house, it did appear that the man was dead so I called 911 immediately,” said the neighbor, Willie Miller.

The victim was one of two tenants who rented a room from the owner, who is also a resident of the house. Authorities


The body of a man identified by relatives as Earnest Brannon was found in a home in the South Los Angeles area late March 9, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

were trying to find the other tenant to question him.

The home is in the unincorporated Westmont neighborhood, which is policed by the Sheriff’s Department.

Family members identified the victim as Earnest Brannon, a minister who had preached at a nearby church on the evening he was killed.

“It just snatched my heart right out of my body,” his granddaughter Chalona Bell said tearfully. “Just snatched it and ripped it apart.”

Brannon, who was white, had moved to the home two months before to escape bullying in his predominantly black community, Bell said.

“He left and he felt like, if he came over here, it was going to be different,” Bell said.


A family member provided this photo of Earnest Brannan, who was found killed in a home he was renting.

The victim had marks on his neck and appeared to have died after a violent struggle, according to authorities. His body had been removed from the home by midday, but investigators remained on scene.

The home had been ransacked, but it was unclear if any property had been stolen.

Investigators said they would like to speak with the other tenant, whose whereabouts were unknown Monday morning.

KTLA’s Kareen Wynter and Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.