Body found in trunk of burning car in Arleta alley

Darsha Philips (KABC) | February 25, 2014

ARLETA, LOS ANGELES — A body was found in the trunk of a burning car in an alley in Arleta, and officials believe the killing may be gang related.

Detectives say it appears the man was already dead before the car was set on fire.

“Usually when we see cases of arson like this, the killers are trying to cover their tracks – burn the car, burn the body,” said Lt. Paul Vernon with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Firefighters responded to a report of a possible dumpster fire shortly before 10:30 p.m. Monday along Garber Street near the 5 Freeway.

When they arrived on scene, they found a newer-model Audi A4 engulfed in flames. Firefighters put out the fire before flames spread to the trunk, where the man’s body was discovered.

“When they opened the lid of the trunk, in there was probably a 5-foot-10, 6-foot-tall adult man,” Vernon described. “Suspecting he’s probably Hispanic and he was dead and probably had been dead for a few hours at least.”

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