The family of a San Pedro man whose body was found inside a suitcase dumped in a wash near Glendale described him as kind, affectionate and trusting 21-year-old.
It has been more than a week since Victor Manuel Moreno was discovered March 31 in the Verdugo wash near Glorietta and Woodland avenues, devestating family members who have been waiting for answers.
Moreno’s mother had reported him missing to local police just days before the grim discovery, his aunt, Lori Rosado, told the Glendale News-Press.
Desperate for answers about his disappearance, she visited the local police station only to have her worst fears confirmed: the thin body inside the suitcase was her son.
“No family, no mother could prepare for this,” Rosado said.
Adding to her pain was the manner in which Moreno's body was found.
“He has a family,” Rosado said. “He had people that loved him. He was somebody to us. No one deserves this. No one deserves to go this way.”
Victor Moreno was one of five siblings, but he often stood out for his ability to make those around him smile with his impromptu singing and dancing.
His sister, Melissa, recalled how he'd sing and dance to get her to wake up in the morning.
The beloved brother with a big smile and free spirit also had ambitions of becoming a hairdresser. He wasn’t shy about fixing his aunt’s hair or applying someone’s makeup.
“Everybody loved him,” Melissa Moreno said.
His family doesn’t know what could have led to his death, but they hope to raise $1,500 to hold a proper funeral.
Detectives believe the suitcase was likely dumped just below a Glorietta Avenue bridge — which is above the wash — sometime Sunday night or early Monday.
He had no obvious signs of trauma to his body to indicate a cause of death, so police are awaiting toxicology reports.
Still, family members said they need answers and the public’s help.
Anyone interested in donating funds to help Victor Moreno’s family pay for his funeral can visit youcaring.com.
Anyone with information about Moreno’s death is asked to call the Glendale Police Department at (818) 548-3987 or Glendale Crime Stoppers at (818) 507-7867.
Veronica Rocha is a Times Community News staff writer.