Investigators Seek to Identify Victim, Killer After Burned Body Found in Shopping Cart at Lake Balboa Park

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Homicide detectives on Friday continued seeking the identity of a man whose badly burned body was found in a shopping cart along the Los Angeles River in Lake Balboa/Anthony C. Beilenson Park in Los Angeles earlier this week, as well as the identity of his killer.

Police investigate the discovery of a badly burned body along the L.A. River on the border at Lake Balboa/Anthony C. Beilenson Park in Los Angeles on Sept.10, 2019. (Credit: Oscar Sol Media)
Police investigate the discovery of a badly burned body along the L.A. River on the border at Lake Balboa/Anthony C. Beilenson Park in Los Angeles on Sept.10, 2019. (Credit: Oscar Sol Media)

The body of the unidentified victim was found during the early morning hours Tuesday in the river basin alongside the 6400 block of Balboa Boulevard, on the border between the Lake Balboa and Encino neighborhoods, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

“A badly charred body had been placed in a shopping cart and left abandoned,” police said in a written statement. Police were also informed that a small brush fire had been reported earlier in the day nearby.

Detectives from the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division cordoned off both locations, which were both within the park, as crime scenes.

An autopsy determined on Friday that the victim died as the result of a homicide, according to the police statement. Investigators did not disclose a cause of death. He was listed at the coroner’s office as John Doe 225 pending identification.

The circumstances of the killing remained a mystery.

“It is not known if the victim was a transient, or if he came into the area for another reason and was murdered,” the statement said.

There was no indication that the crime was related to several other recent arson attacks on the homeless in Los Angeles.

Anyone with information was urged to contact LAPD at 877-527-3247. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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