Investigators found a second human hand and feet Wednesday when they returned with search dogs to a popular hiking trail a day after two dogwalkers discovered a severed head in a bag at the location below the Hollywood sign.
About 12 detectives conducted a grid search of the area early Wednesday in an area near the Bronson Canyon Park gates.
Authorities discovered both hands and feet within a 50-yard radius from the location of the head, which was found at about 3 p.m. Tuesday when two hikers' dogs began playing with a bag not far off the trail.
"At one point, one of the dogs ran into the brush and came out carrying a plastic grocery bag," said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. "As the dog shook the plastic grocery bag, the severed human head fell out of the bag onto the ground."
One of the dog walkers said a reddish-colored golden retriever named Ollie sniffed out an
interesting dig site and pawed down a few inches where he discovered something interesting. A light-colored husky mix ran over and tried to cover up Ollie's find with leaves. However, the other dogs assisted Ollie in the dig and eventually pulled up the bag containing the human head.
Park rangers and officers launched a search before sundown Tuesday, but no other remains were discovered and the search was suspended.
The head, which appears to have been severed just below the chin, probably was placed near the trail just a few days ago after the individual was slain at a different location, according to investigators. It did not show signs of significant decomposition.
The victim is likely between 40 and 60 years old, but the coroner will need to conduct an investigation before more information about the individual can be provided.
"We've got to see if we can get any prints from the hand,'' said Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said. "If we get any prints, then the LAPD can go knocking on doors."
The grim discovery put many residents in the area on edge.
"I walked around the house locking all the doors," said Susan Moss, a Canyon Drive Resident. "I hope it's not something that actually occurred in our neighborhood where, as horrible as it sounds, it is a human, but I'm hoping it wasn't a murder that happened in our general vicinity. I'm hoping it's just someone trying to get rid of it."
The investigation is being handled by LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division.