LOS ANGELES — A dozen Los Angeles robbery-homicide investigators and a coroner's cadaver dog searched for clues through the brush of an urban wilderness park on Wednesday, a day after dog-walkers found a man's head in a plastic bag.
The dog walkers called police Tuesday afternoon after discovering the head of a man in a plastic grocery sack. Authorities believe the man had been in his 40s, 50s or 60s.
"One of their dogs pulled it out of the brush" and began shaking it, police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. "It didn't look like it had been there for a long time."
The grisly discovery in the Hollywood Hills was made perhaps a half-mile from the entrance to a section of giant Griffith Park that is popular with tourists and locals, particularly dog owners. Investigators questioned neighbors outside the park entrance to learn whether they saw anything suspicious, Smith said.
"We don't believe the guy was killed here," he said. "There's no sign of a struggle and no sign of other body parts."
The man wasn't immediately identified. Police were checking reports of missing persons and coroner's investigators will check dental records.
Smith noted that the canyon is well-traveled by both cars and hikers. A paved road leads from the gated entrance and winds around picnic areas and a children's playground before connecting with a trail that eventually winds up near the Hollywood sign.
A second trail leads to a short tunnel known locally as the Batcave because it was used for a scene in the 1960s "Batman" series. It also is frequently used for filming TV and movie productions.