A longtime In-N-Out Burger employee found dead in the restaurant’s parking lot in La Mirada did not die from gunshots as authorities originally believed, the Los Angeles County Coroner said Wednesday.
Josefina Alcocer, 49, died from multiple blunt force injuries Friday morning, a coroner’s official said.
Just before 5 a.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of an unresponsive woman near the In-N-Out restaurant in the 14300 block of Firestone Boulevard, said Deputy Guillermina Saldana, spokeswoman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
First-responders found Alcocer dead from a fatal blow to the head, sheriff's Lt. Steve Jauch said. She already had started her shift and was wearing her In-N-Out Burger uniform when she was killed, he said.
In hopes of tracking leads in the case, authorities publicized Alcocer’s work history. She had been with In-N-Out for 20 years, and her husband worked at one of the restaurants in Orange County.
In-N-Out owner and President Lynsi Snyder expressed sadness over Alcocer’s death last week.
"The entire In-N-Out family grieves today over this senseless tragedy as we send our thoughts and prayers to the Alcocer family," Snyder said in a statement. "Josefina had been a part of our In-N-Out family since 1996, and she was one of our original associates at our La Mirada restaurant.
"We are devastated and will miss her. So many things going on in the world today. We will remain strong and stand in love for Josefina. God bless and comfort all who are mourning a loved one at this time."
"I just can’t get over it," Alma Uribe, a friend, told KNBC. "It’s kind of hard because she was like my daughter. I can’t even imagine who would do something like that to her because she was a very giving person."
Alcocer is the first person to be killed in La Mirada in the past 12 months, according to the Los Angeles Times Homicide Report.
La Mirada is about 17 miles southeast of downtown L.A.
Times staff writer Veronica Rocha contributed to this report.
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