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Detectives look for clues after mother and 13-year-old son found dead in Van Nuys apartment

Detectives look for clues after mother and 13-year-old son found dead in Van Nuys apartment
Investigators crowd a carport area at an apartment building in the 13800 block of Oxnard Street in Van Nuys, where the bodies of a woman in her 40s and a 13-year-old boy were found dead. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities are trying to determine how a mother and her 13-year-old son were killed after their bodies were found in their apartment in Van Nuys late Wednesday.

A man called police about 11 p.m. after he discovered the bodies of his wife, who was in her 40s, and their teenage son in the apartment in the 13800 block of Oxnard Street when he returned home from work. He has been cooperating with police in the investigation, LAPD Det. Meghan Aguilar said.

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It is not clear how the woman and teen died, but officials said their bodies appeared to have suffered some type of trauma, possibly stab wounds or gunshot wounds.

“If you don’t have a witness and all you have is a bloody wound, it can be very difficult to quickly determine how the injury occurred,” said Aguilar, adding that coroner’s officials will investigate the cause of death.

Aguilar said Los Angeles Police Department detectives are working to obtain a search warrant for the apartment, which will allow them to look for possible evidence. No arrests have been made, and a weapon has not been recovered, she said.

Authorities did not find evidence of forced entry into the apartment. They haven’t ruled out that the attack was a robbery that turned deadly, but Aguilar said it “isn’t something detectives are following strongly.”

“It’s a 13-year-old boy and his mother, so it’s very unusual,” Aguilar said. “We’re fortunate that we don’t see this very often.”

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