The search that led police to the grisly New Year's Eve discovery of a man's body encased in concrete began when someone walked into a Whittier police station Sunday afternoon, offering an anonymous but in-person tip.
A Santa Fe Springs man, the tipster said, might be someone whom police ought to contact with regard to a murder, Whittier Police Officer Brad White told NBC4 Wednesday.
Officers tracked down Juan Alberto Galviz, the man identified by the tipster, and arrested him shortly after on suspicion of murder, White said.
Galviz, also known as Juan Manuel Ramirez, was charged with murder and ordered to remain in jail on $1 million bail while awaiting arraignment in Whittier Superior Court Jan. 23.
Investigators' discussion with Galviz led them to a warehouse area in the 9400 block of John Street in Santa Fe Springs, where they found newly poured concrete that they believed contained a body.
By the time police arrived at the warehouse, however, the concrete had already hardened, White said, making removal and identification difficult.
The victim was shot to death on Dec. 23, according the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
Officers requested a search warrant and also contacted the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, whose investigators had the skills necessary to remove the body.
Help didn't come until the next day, when the coroner's office sent experts in breaking up rocks and concrete, along with cadaver-sniffing dogs, to the location on John Street.
The body was removed from the concrete and taken to the coroner's office to be examined, White said.
Police are waiting for a full report from the coroner before releasing the dead man's name or saying how he was killed, White said.
But he said the victim had known Galviz, 35, for many years. The death, White said, was believed based on preliminary evidence to be the result of their escalating feud.
"They had known each other and never gotten along," White said.