Biking home tonight up Historic Filipinotown on Vendome north of Temple I stopped, having sighted the above cordoned off crime scene on Dillon Street just south of the 101 Freeway overpass (map). A patrol car leaving the perimeter pulled up to me and I asked the officer driving what happened.
“Do you live in the area?” he inquired.
I told him and he paused before telling me it was a homicide and then added “be careful” as he pulled the cruiser away and left.
“You too!” I said.
I stayed a few minutes more and observed officers climbing over the low guardrail and moving out of sight into the foliage, presumably where the body was located.
UPDATED (05.08): I emailed Ruben Vives and Jill Leovy of the L.A. Times’ Homicide Report blog and heard back from Vives last night who wrote that the victim is a woman and detectives aren’t sure how long she’d been dead because her body was already in the decomposition stage.
FWIW, my first impression was the obvious one: gang-related. But then there was something about the semi-secluded location of the victim that seemed more like the body had been intentionally dumped. In an eerie coincidence it was only a couple days ago I got caught up in reading about the Hillside Strangler, and so to pass a murder scene so close to home that was similar to several from that case is creepy.