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Burning body found hanging from tree in Griffith Park is apparent suicide

A 2014 photo of an area near the Griffith Park merry-go-round.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Park rangers found a dead body burning and hanging from a tree near the Griffith Park merry-go-round Tuesday, police said.

Police arrived at the scene around 1 p.m. after passersby saw a fire burning in a tree and saw a human body at the center of the flames. They alerted park rangers, who called the police.

The fire department put out the flames and found the human remains. Police determined that the person, whose race and gender have not been determined due to extensive burns, died of self-immolation.

The body was still hanging in the tree, obscured by foliage, around 2 p.m., with police waiting until the coroner arrived to bring down the body. Seven officers stood by and taped off the scene.

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The tree where the body was found is a few hundred feet from the Griffith Park merry-go-round, which was closed Tuesday. A film crew was shooting nearby in the park, though it was not clear if a member of the crew alerted park rangers to the fire.

A detective told The Times that there is no evidence at the moment of foul play, and the department has not identified the victim.

The detective said the body might be of a “local transient.”


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