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Hervey Medellin, Victim In Hollywood Dismemberment Case, Identified

By JOHN ROGERS   01/21/12 03:49 AM ET   AP

LOS ANGELES -- Authorities have determined that a dismembered head and other body parts found in a rugged hillside park near the famed "Hollywood" sign are the remains of a man who lived in an a nearby apartment.

The victim was Hervey Medellin, a 66-year-old from Los Angeles, coroner's Lt. David Smith said Friday night.

Investigators, who are searching for suspects, served a search warrant on a Hollywood apartment in the area a day earlier, but it wasn't immediately clear if it was Medellin's apartment.

"They did serve a search warrant last night. They are following clues, and the case is progressing. Guys are working around the clock to find out who did it and find the rest of the body," police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Friday.

He did not elaborate on why the warrant was served or what, if anything, detectives found.

"We don't want to give out too much information because the investigation is ongoing," Andrew Smith said.

Medellin's head was found Tuesday at Bronson Canyon Park, and police searchers discovered the hands and feet during a two-day search that ended Thursday. The park, a brushy, wooded expanse of rolling hills just below the Hollywood sign, reopened Friday.

Although police have concluded no other body parts were dumped in the park, visitors who find anything they believe are related to the victim's death should contact authorities, Smith said.

More than 120 police officers, firefighters and Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies searched 7 acres of the park after the head was discovered in a plastic grocery bag. The hands and feet were found nearby.

Police have said they believe the victim was killed elsewhere and his remains dumped just inside the park, which attracts hundreds of hikers and dog walkers on most days.

Although rustic, it is located just a short distance from film studios and other Hollywood attractions.

Police believe the body parts were left there no more than a day or two before the head was found because they had barely decomposed and had not been attacked by coyotes that roam through the park at night.

Authorities don't believe the Los Angeles case is connected to a case in Tucson, Ariz., where police found a torso on Jan. 6. They say if the two were related, the remains would have been more badly decomposed.

Medellin's head was found after the dog walker let one of the animals she was shepherding through the park off its leash and it began playing with a plastic bag. When it shook the bag, the head fell out.

Andrew Smith said whoever dumped the head had gone to some effort to conceal it.

"If it had not been for the dog walker, we might never have found it," he said.

___

Associated Press writer Bob Christie in Phoenix contributed to this report.

PHOTOS:
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  • Los Angeles Police detectives inspect a vehicle parked the wrong direction as they search the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles County coroner's investigator Rene Grand Pre walks a human-remains detecting K9 as police search the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Police detectives investigate the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • A resident stops their car to speak with Los Angeles Police detectives as they search the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Police detectives meet as they search the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles County coroner's investigator Rene Grand Pre, center, walks a human-remains detecting K9 around a vehicle as police search the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Police detectives Jeff Sandefur, right, and Claudia Castruita stand at the entrance of Bronson Canyon Park as they search the neighborhood near the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Residents walk their dogs along Canyon Drive as Los Angeles Police detectives, center, investigate the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew J. Smith, center, prepares to speak to media in front of the Bronson Canyon Park entrance as Los Angeles Police detectives search the neighborhood below the Hollywood Sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Police detectives work a crime scene in Griffith Park off Canyon Drive after a human head was discovered off a nearby trail Tuesday by two women walking their dogs in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. A human hand has since been discovered. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, pool)

  • Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith, second left, looks on as a coroner's vehicle arrives at a crime scene in Griffith Park off Canyon Drive where a human head was discovered Tuesday by two women walking their dogs in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. A human hand has since been discovered. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, pool)

  • Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith, left, talks to Los Angeles Coroner Detective Rene Grand Pre in Griffith Park on Canyon Drive near the scene where a human head was discovered Tuesday by two women walking their dogs in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. A human hand has since been discovered. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, pool)

  • Los Angeles Police detectives work a crime scene in Griffith Park off Canyon Drive after a human head was discovered off a nearby trail Tuesday by two women walking their dogs in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. A human hand has since been discovered. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, Pool)

  • Los Angeles Police detectives work a crime scene in Griffith Park off Canyon Drive after a human head was discovered off a nearby trail Tuesday by two women walking their dogs in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. A human hand has since been discovered. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, Pool)

  • Los Angeles Police detectives work a crime scene in Griffith Park off Canyon Drive after a human head was discovered off a nearby trail Tuesday by two women walking their dogs in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. A human hand has since been discovered. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, Pool)

  • A hiker walks her dogs in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday by two women walking their dogs on a nearby trail off Canyon Drive in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Investigators have since discovered a human hand. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Two women hike in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday by two women walking their dogs on a nearby trail off Canyon Drive in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Investigators have since discovered a human hand. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • A group of hikers walks their dog in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday by two women walking their dogs on a nearby trail in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Investigators have since discovered a human hand. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • A hiker walks his dog in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday by two women walking their dogs on a nearby trail off Canyon Drive in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Investigators have since discovered a human hand. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Mounted Los Angeles Police officers search the Bronson Canyon area of Griffith Park after a human head was discovered Tuesday by two people walking their dogs below the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Investigators also found two severed hands. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Mounted Los Angeles Police officers search the Bronson Canyon area of Griffith Park after a human head was discovered Tuesday by two people walking their dogs below the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Investigators have also two severed hands. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Mounted Los Angeles Police officers search the Bronson Canyon area of Griffith Park after a human head was discovered Tuesday by two people walking their dogs below the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Investigators have also found two severed hands. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

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