Body Found at Manhattan Beach Park ID'd as 21-Year-Old Father

City workers made the grisly discovery while moving a pile of landscaping manure

By Samantha Tata and Hetty Chang
|  Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013  |  Updated 11:34 AM PDT
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The family of a 21-year-old man whose body was found in Manhattan Beach, stuffed in a bag, is asking for the public's help to find out who killed him. The victim was the father of a young child. Kim Baldonado reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 16, 2013.

Kim Baldonado

The family of a 21-year-old man whose body was found in Manhattan Beach, stuffed in a bag, is asking for the public's help to find out who killed him. The victim was the father of a young child. Kim Baldonado reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 16, 2013.

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Family of Man Found Dead in Manhattan Beach Park Calls for Justice

Manhattan Beach City Workers found the body of 21-year-old Mario Herrera wrapped in a bag and lying in a pile of fertilizer last Thursday. Herrera’s family left balloons and flowers at the site he was found, and are asking the public to help figure out how and why this happened. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Manhattan Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 16, 2013.
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A body found at a popular Manhattan Beach park was identified Tuesday as belonging to a 21-year-old Long Beach man, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Landscapers found Mario Herrera’s decomposing body wrapped in plastic atop a heap of landscaping manure July 11. The 21-year-old father of a toddler son was reported missing from Long Beach the day before, sheriff’s officials said.

Family members Tuesday placed flowers, photos and balloons at the site where Herrera's body was found.

"My son didn't deserve this," his mother Martha Vergara said, pleading for the public's help to find whoever killed her son.

The victim's family says he "made friends easily" and didn't have any enemies.

"They have no clue of anything," said Victor Vergara, Herrera's uncle. "That's why we're here, to tell the public that we want justice for this."

Herrera’s cause of death is undetermined and the investigation is ongoing, said Lt. Dave Coleman, with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

City workers moving a dirt pile at Polliwog Park noticed a "suspiciously wrapped object" early in the day, but waited “sometime” before calling police, Coleman said the day the body was found.

The grisly discovery, pictured below, jarred the coastal community where residents said they had a hard time remembering the last time a deadly crime was committed in their city.

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