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Severed hand found near head under Hollywood sign

January 18, 2012

One day after two dogs uncovered a human head hidden in a plastic bag, Los Angeles police found a severed hand Wednesday morning at the Hollywood Hills crime scene.

The head was first discovered 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Bronson Canyon Park near a trail below the Hollywood sign by two people walking nine dogs.

Investigators continued to search the area Tuesday evening and resumed the search Wednesday morning. A specially-trained cadaver dog from the coroner's office found the hand Wednesday morning about 50 yards away from where the head had been located. The hand was found in brush off the trail. Unlike the head, it was not in a bag.

About 30 detectives were on scene Wednesday, along with officers trained in searching rough terrain. They had set up a grid to comb the area in search of additional body parts. Investigators were also going door-to-door along Canyon Drive to talk to neighbors about whether they witnessed anything unusual – or if their trash had been displaced.

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Police believe the crime occurred somewhere else and the body was dumped. It's possible, Smith said, that a wild animal may have moved some of the body parts.

The park is home to numerous coyotes.

The head was believed to be a man, possibly of Armenian descent, in his 40s with salt-and-pepper hair.

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-- Alan Zarembo and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times

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