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Hollywood body parts identified as retiree

 

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET Saturday:  The man whose head, hands and feet were found in the Hollywood Hills was identified by police as 67-year-old retiree Hervey Medellin. Medellin was a resident of a Hollywood apartment building investigators searched earlier in the day. Sources told the Los Angeles Times that Medellin was a former Mexicana Airlines employee.

Original story

LOS ANGELES -- Authorities have identified the man whose head, hands and feet were found in the Hollywood Hills, but have not yet released his name, officials said Friday.

Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter told NBCLosAngeles.com that the name was being withheld at the request of the Los Angeles police detectives who are continuing to investigate the crime. Officials also want to notify the man's family before releasing the information to the public, the television website reported.  

On Thursday evening, police served a search warrant in an apartment complex in Hollywood, close to Sunset Boulevard and Vine Streets, according to the Los Angeles Times. They towed a silver Honda from the building, the Times reported.

Although no arrests have been made in the case, the Times is reporting that at least one person was questioned by detectives Thursday. Sources close to the investigation said police were also looking to talk to at least one other man.

Meanwhile, investigators in California were downplaying any possible connection between the body parts case in Los Angeles and a dismembered body found earlier this month in a rural area of Tuscon, Ariz.

Read more about the Hollywood case on NBCLosAngeles.com

"It's fairly implausible that somebody would drive parts of a dead body five hours from Arizona to our Griffith Park," Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith told Reuters.

Smith added there was also no evidence that the man in California was the victim of organized crime or a serial killer.

Arizona sheriff officials say they are are awaiting DNA results, expected Tuesday, to try to definitively rule out any connection between the two cases.  

Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Dawn Barkman said two men were cutting grass along the side of a rural road on Jan. 6 found a body without a head, hands or feet. Investigators determined the body had been in that location for only 24 hours, and a search turned up none of the missing body parts, she said.

Los Angeles police believe their victim was killed elsewhere and the body parts were buried or hidden to deter identification, according to NBCLosAngeles.com.

“They may have been disturbed by animals, but initially they were left off trail and not intended to be found,”  Smith told the NBC website.

By early afternoon Thursday, police ended their search in the Hollywood Hills area for the parts, after determining that major portions of the remains – the torso, the arms and the legs – were not in the park, NBC reported.

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