Coroner to Examine Hands for Prints in Hollywood Hills Body Parts Case

Officers return to a hiking trail in the Hollywood Hills after the discovery of a severed head earlier this week

Investigators returned to a Hollywood Hills hiking trail early Thursday in a search that began Tuesday with the discovery of a human head and later turned up two hands and feet.

After hikers' dogs found the head Tuesday afternoon, more remains were found Wednesday -- two feet and hands -- about 50 yards from where the head was found at Bronson Canyon  Park. The body parts are being examined by the coroner's office to determine the victim's identity.

"We've got to see if we can get any prints from the hand,'' said Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter. "If we get any prints, then the LAPD can go knocking on doors.''

About 100 officers and members of an LAPD Academy recruit class were looking over a seven-acre area that, according to police, could only be accessed by hiking to the site. It is likely the victim was killed elsewhere, and the remains were dumped near the trail recently, police said.

"We're looking at everything from footprints to cigarette butts to piles of trash," said Commander Andrew Smith.

The head was found at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday after the hikers' dogs began playing with a plastic bag they found just off the hiking trail below the Hollywood sign. Two hands and two feet were found during Wednesday's search.

Authorities planned to search until about 4 p.m., then reopen the park Friday, Smith said.

When asked about the case of a torso found in Arizona in early January, authorities said they are aware of the case but do not believe it is connected to the Hollywood Hills case.

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