An autopsy conducted on the body of a woman discovered off Angeles Crest Highway on Nov. 17 by Forest Service workers determined she was a victim of homicide who died from blunt force head trauma or possible asphyxiation.
Identified in late November as 27-year-old Karina Alcaraz, the body was discovered with multiple lacerations of and fractures to the face and scalp, according to the autopsy conducted by the Los Angeles County Deputy Medical Examiner Matthew Miller.
Miller noted a hinge fracture at the base of the skull, along with several fractures to the maxilla and jawbone. A toxicology report indicated marijuana was detected in the victim’s system.
The body was found 60 feet down an embankment about 7 miles north of La Cañada Flintridge by a Forest Service inspector who’d been cleaning up a nearby turnout after a vehicle accident, according to a sheriff’s investigator’s narrative that accompanied the Nov. 20 autopsy findings.
The victim was found wrapped in layers of bedding secured by a white phone cord at her waist. A ligature around her neck comprised two black zip ties, and a black garbage bag over the victim’s head contained a pair of red boy’s shorts and a blanket. Officials were not able to exclude asphyxia as the cause of death.
A lower back tattoo featured a heart shape that turns into the word “love” with the text “Cri” printed on either side. A tattoo of two hearts was found on her right ankle, and the victim was wearing red toenail polish and peach glitter fingernail polish.
The examiner described her as weighing approximately 144 pounds and being about 5 feet 6 with curly reddish brown hair. While a city of residence has not been determined, a coroner’s spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday the victim’s family has been notified.