MONTECITO HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — A woman walking her dog on Wednesday afternoon discovered two female bodies in a Montecito Heights park.
The bodies were reported at around 2:20 p.m. in the area of Mercury Avenue and Boundary Avenue, near a hiking trail in Ernest E. Debs Regional Park.
The females were fully clothed and appeared to be young, but authorities have not said whether they were juveniles or adults.
The woman who found the bodies panicked and ran, a witness said.
“[She said], ‘there’s a dead body up there. Run!’ And that’s exactly what I did,’ said Raul Salazar Jr.
Homicide detectives were on the scene Wednesday evening.
Some residents believe the apparent homicides were linked to a flasher who at one point threatened a woman at knife-point in the park last year.
“I’m pretty sure it’s the same guy,” a neighbor, Steven Murillo, said.
Authorities said it appeared that the bodies, which were found on a hillside, had not been there long.
The heavy police activity and homicide investigation has rattled nearby residents, who say the park is a popular place for families to gather, and for people to jog.
“It’s starting to get dark earlier. We need to be more aware of our surroundings,” local resident Bertha Mendez said.
Salazar said he’s haunted by the look in the eyes of the people who saw the bodies.
“Fear… total fear,” he said.