Few clues in case of decapitated body found in San Gabriel riverbed

Irwindale police continue to investigate the case of a decapitated corpse that was discovered Thursday in the San Gabriel riverbed.

The body, described as that of an adult male, was found in some brush around 5:30 p.m. by a man scavenging for recyclables, not far from Foothill Boulevard and Irwindale Avenue, police said.


The head was found 20 feet from the rest of the body.

"We don't know how that occurred," Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.

He said coroner's officials will determine the man's identity and the cause of death. Until then, they are investigating the case as a possible homicide.

So far, however, investigators have very few clues to work with.

The body of the man was found about 300 feet southeast of the San Gabriel River and a bike lane and was not visible to anyone, police said.

Zendejas said it's unclear if the man was a transient or if he was known to frequent the area. The body was surrounded by trash, suggesting people had been living at the site at one point, he added.

"There's just so much we don't know about the individual," he said.

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials are assisting with the investigation; the Sheriff's Department may take the lead on the case if coroner's officials determine the man was killed.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Irwindale police at (626) 430-2244 or Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide investigators at (323) 890-5500.