The burned, partially-clothed body of a 21-year-old woman was found on a street in a residential neighborhood of Playa del Rey Friday afternoon, January 26th, police said.
The woman, identified as Nicole Harvey of South Los Angeles, was discovered by a construction worker shortly after 2 p.m. in the 8100 block of Tuscany Avenue, near Rees Street, police said.
The construction worker reported to law enforcement officials that he had been driving on the street and stopped when he saw something on fire, said detective Brian Carr of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) robbery-homicide division, which is handling the investigation.
When the construction worker realized that it was a body on fire, he called 911 and took a fire extinguisher from his car to put the flames out, Carr said.
Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) firefighters and arson investigators arrived at the scene at 2:06 p.m. and found the woman’s smoldering remains, said fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
Firefighters quickly covered the partially-burned body and cordoned off the immediate area until police and investigators arrived, he said.
The woman was wearing a brown camouflage jacket but did not have any pants on, Carr said.
LAPD robbery-homicide detectives are investigating the death as a homicide, he said, but police currently do not have any suspects.
Carr said it appears that the woman’s body was set on fire in an attempt to cover up a crime.
The woman was shot to death before she was set on fire, Carr said.
The body had no “obvious evidence” of a sexual assault, pending further investigation, Carr said.
Police are unsure where the woman was shot but said her body was dropped off on the Playa del Rey street, where it was set on fire, Carr said.
The motive for the crime is unknown, he said.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is asked to call LAPD robbery-homicide Detective Brian Carr at (213) 485-2129.
Some nearby residents said they were shocked to hear of a body being found in their neighborhood.
“This definitely doesn’t happen around here,” one man said.