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Minister found dead in South L.A. home; strangulation suspected

Detectives are investigating the death of a 67-year-old man whose body was found in a South Los Angeles home after he was apparently strangled, authorities said.

Investigators responded about 10:43 p.m. Sunday to a house in the 1100 block of West 98th Street, where a female homeowner had made the grim discovery in a bedroom, according to Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The homeowner ran next door and alerted a neighbor after finding the body.

Homicide Report: A story for every victim

“As soon as I got inside the house, it did appear that the man was dead so I called 911 immediately,” the neighbor, Willie Miller, told KTLA-TV.

The victim was one of two tenants who rented a room from the owner, who also lives in a resident of the house. Authorities were trying to find the other tenant to question him.

The home is in the unincorporated Westmont neighborhood, which is policed by the Sheriff’s Department.

Family members identified the victim as Earnest Brannon, a minister who had preached at a nearby church on the evening he was killed, KTLA reported.

“It just snatched my heart right out of my body,” his granddaughter Chalona Bell said tearfully. “Just snatched it and ripped it apart.”

The victim had marks on his neck and appeared to have died after a violent struggle, according to authorities. His body had been removed from the home by midday, but investigators remained on scene.

The home had been ransacked, but it was unclear if any property had been stolen.

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