Man found dead in suitcase had been reported missing

A body found in a suitcase dumped in the Verdugo wash was identified on Thursday as a 21-year-old man from San Pedro, according to coroner’s officials.

Victor Manuel Moreno was found Monday inside a piece of luggage dumped in the wash near Glorietta and Woodland avenues in Glendale.

The cause of death was deferred pending additional tests, said Ed Winter, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.

He was apparently reported missing March 28 to the Harbor Community Police Station, said Det. Cletus Carlton of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Missing Person’s Unit.

Los Angeles police released only a few details about his disappearance due to the ongoing homicide investigation.

Glendale police detectives have also declined to talk about the case or release any further information.

A Los Angeles County Public Works employee found the suitcase at about 9 a.m. while cleaning the wash.

The employee noticed plastic was protruding from the suitcase and didn’t want to touch it, so he called police, according to Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

Police arrived at the wash, which runs through Glorietta Park, and called coroner’s investigators.

Detectives believe the suitcase was likely dumped just below a bridge that is above the wash sometime Sunday night or early Monday.

Moreno had no obvious signs of trauma to his body to indicate a cause of death, so police are waiting for toxicology reports, Lorenz said.

“What makes this suspicious is a man, 21 years old, was stuffed in a suitcase and transported to the Glorietta bridge and thrown over,” he said. “That action in itself [warrants] an investigation.”

The discovery would make it the second homicide in Glendale since November.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.

Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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