The Los Angeles County coroner's investigators have ruled that a gunshot wound to the chest was the cause of death of the highly decomposed body found in West Hollywood over the weekend. The victim was found in the back of a black Cadillac Escalade and has not been identified.
"The next step could be to take DNA samples from the remains and compare them with relatives of the person to whom the Escalade is registered," said coroners Lt. Joe Bale to West Hollywood Patch.
The car had been parked on the street for days, collecting parking tickets and leaves. Neighbors only grew suspicious at the permeating stench. "I came into my kitchen and said, 'What's that smell?' " said Allen Bernstein to KTLA, "but evidently it was the smell from the dead body across the street."
The owner of the vehicle has not been publicly identified and KTLA's David Begnaud also reports that it had been "rented out."
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) June 12, 2012
The case is being investigated as a homocide.
From the LAPD: Anyone with information on this case is urged to call West Bureau Homicide detectives at 213-382-9470. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.