Bears, Coyotes Eat Homeless Man Sleeping in Griffith Park
Hiker stumbles upon the unidentified 40-year-old man's severed head.
December 12, 2019
Has Griffith Park's famous mountain lion, P-22, developed a taste for human flesh? Experts say probably not, but something ate a homeless man who died in LA's Griffith Park.
A hiker in Griffith Park discovered a dismembered head and other body parts. Authorities including a forensic team from the Los Angeles county Sheriff's department have concluded that a homeless man died and then was consumed by coyotes, bears and other wildlife.
A hiker discovered dismembered human body parts in Los Angeles' Griffith Park Monday morning December 2. The body was found decapitated when Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to the area of Griffith Park Drive and Camp Road at 9:00 a.m., according to LAPD.
LAPD launched a homicide investigation earlier in the morning but later said it's considered an undetermined death investigation. Detectives said the man (or woman) may have been camping when he or she died.
"The evidence suggests the person passed away and animals may have gotten to it," LAPD Lt. Ryan Rabbett said.
The man may have been homeless and living in the area, and was a white or Hispanic man in his 40s or 50s, Rabbett said.
Chief Park Ranger Joe Losorelli said "there's different body parts laying around" but it was unclear how long the body had been there. He said the remains were found up the canyon by a hiker, walking with his dog.
Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. The park covers 4,310 acres, making it among the largest urban parks in North America. It is often compared to New York City's Central Park, but in contrast, Griffith Park is mountainous and rugged.
In addition to one famous adult male mountain lion, Griffith Park supports a large population of striped skunk, opossum, and coyote, which often visit backyards at the park's edge. Bobcat and gray fox are also regularly seen, but are mainly active at night, when the park is closed to visitors.