Anna

‘Savages': Suspects Caught on Camera But Still No Break in Unsolved South LA Murder

The surveillance video LAPD Criminal Gang Homicide detectives have seen over and over show two men circling a block, walking into an alley and ultimately - according to police - dumping a body.

It happened in the early morning hours of November 12, 2015 at 91st Street and Compton Avenue in Watts. The crime left a father of two dead.

"He was assaulted and we don't know if he died here at this location or was killed somewhere else and placed at this location," said LAPD Detective Mark Hahn. "He was beaten to death."

Antonio Vargas was 49 years old. He worked as a refrigerator repair man. His eldest daughter, Anna, fought back tears to explain just how much her dad meant to their family.

"Everything he did was for others," she said. "He never just thought about himself."

Every day since Vargas' body was found in that South LA alley, his family has questioned who could've done such a thing and why.

"Whoever did this -- these people can't be on the streets," his father Luis Antonio said.

Anna calls the two men in the surveillance video "beasts" and "savages."

Detective Hahn says Vargas' stature - he was thick, but short, his family called him "Chico" or "Little One" - means it took more than just one person to beat him so badly.

"This could be something random or something very personal, we just don't know at this point," he said.

The surveillance video shows the two men just a few hours before Vargas' body was found: First, they appear driving into the alley only to exit and come around the block again moments later. Hahn said he believes the duo was scouting the area for a place to leave Vargas' body.

After the moment police believe the body is dumped, the surveillance video shows the two men going back into the alley a third time, but on foot.

"We don't know if they dropped something, took something, took something from the victim," Hahn said.

The suspects' descriptions are minimal: they're both based on clothing the two had on that night, and one of them was smoking a cigarette. For Vargas' family, whoever they are, they say they couldn't have possibly understood the heartache their actions would cause.

"How would you be able to live with yourself knowing that you did something like this to someone," Anna said. "He was just a great man. And I loved him very much."

Police particularly want to know where Vargas was between Sunday November 8th and when his body was found on November 12th. LAPD Criminal Gang Homicide Detectives are asking anyone with information about what happened to Vargas to call them at (323) 786-5111.

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