Police Searching for Family of Man Found Beaten to Death in Alley

The victim was found naked, covered by a sheet, with a block of ice placed on his head

Police were asking for the public's help tracking down the family of a man discovered beaten to death in a South Los Angeles alley last Fall.

On Sept. 14, the body of 60-year-old Bruce Johnson was found in an alley near Normandie and Slauson avenues, Los Angeles Police Department investigators said.

Johnson was found naked, covered by a sheet, with a block of ice placed on his head, LAPD Det. John Flores said. A neighbor made the grim discovery.

"The local resident saw something on the floor and there was a block of ice on it," Flores said. "He didn't know what it was so kicked over the block of ice and discovered the person's face."

Detectives learned the ice came from a taco truck that parks nearby, but what they don't know yet is how it got from there to the alley.

"It's a very strange thing, it's unknown what the motive is, but clearly someone picked up that ice and brought it over here and put it on the victim's head," Flores said.

Surveillance video caught a 90s model Town & Country minivan in the alley just before the body was found, but they're not sure yet if there's a connection.

For neighbors, they worry the mystery will remain because of the fear to come forward.

"Just another day in the hood, everybody getting chopped down," South LA resident Maurice Cannon said.

Fingerprints helped identify Johnson, but police have been unable to find anyone who knows him.

"We checked all the addresses we had for him on file, including halfway houses, but we have yet to find anyone who knows him or family members," Flores said.

The LAPD released Johnson's 2002 booking photo and a sketch of what he would look like today in hopes someone will recognize him.

Anyone with information was asked to call the LAPD South Bureau.

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