The body of a man who had been dead for hours was found in the trunk of a burning car in Arleta Monday night, according to police.
The man, who police say is between 25 and 35 years old, was found in the trunk of a burning Audi A4 in an alley near Vena Avenue and Terra Bella Street after someone reported a trash bin fire around 10:20 p.m.
"The fire fully engulfed the passenger compartment, but never made it to the trunk," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division. "It appears the man was already dead when the fire was set. It looks like the killer(s) was trying to cover his tracks."
The cause of death was not immediately known. The preliminary investigation showed that the fire was not the cause of death.
Detectives told NBC4's Toni Guinyard Tuesday morning that it was too early to tell whether the slaying is related to gang activity.
The vehicle was not listed as stolen, according to LAPD.
Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division at 818-486-6890.