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Search underway for man suspected of killing girlfriend with hammer in East L.A.

A search is underway for a homeless man that sheriff's officials say killed his girlfriend with a hammer early Saturday in East Los Angeles.

Antonio Medina has been on the run since his 21-year-old girlfriend Kassandra Ochoa’s lifeless body was found about 1 a.m. in a converted garage in the 470 block of South Sydney Drive, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Witnesses told detectives that Medina, 28, was arguing with Ochoa before he was seen leaving the neighborhood, sheriff's officials said. Medina and Ochoa were squatters and tried to spend the night inside the garage, Lt. Victor Lewondoski told KABC-TV Channel 7.

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Later, deputies received a report of an assault with a deadly weapon.

Deputies found Ochoa bleeding and unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Los Angeles County coroner's officials determined Ochoa died after suffering blunt-force trauma to her head.

Ochoa's mother, Elizabeth Dolores, urged Medina to turn himself in, KABC-TV reported.

"Turn yourself in, please ... we trusted you when you came into our house," she told the TV news station. "We trusted you and you did this to my baby."

Medina is 5 feet 7 inches and weighs about 180 pounds.

Anyone with details about Medina's whereabouts is urged to call the sheriff's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA

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