MONTECITO HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — Police searched three homes in a Montecito Heights neighborhood Thursday and detained three people for questioning in the deaths of two young women, whose bodies were found in a nearby park two weeks ago. The detainees were later released.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the search warrants were served at about 5:30 a.m. in the 3400 block of Galena Street near the location where the bodies of Gabriela Calzada, 19, Briana Gallegos,17, were found on Oct. 28. The remains were found near Mercury and Boundary avenues along a walking path through Ernest E. Debs Regional Park.
“We served the search warrants on several locations,” LAPD Capt. Martin Baeza said. “And the reason that we did is because there was a connection in the relationships to individuals knowing each other. And we believe that their relationship(s) will lead us to some additional information.”
According to neighbors, one of the detainees is the Calzada’s boyfriend. The neighbors said they refused to reveal his name for fear of their own safety.
Neighbors also told CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Lopez there was a lot more they wanted to tell but decided not to reveal what they know because they are afraid of gang retaliation. Only one neighbor was willing to go on camera.
Another neighbor provided some photos of investigators looking for evidence at one of the homes only on the condition that Lopez would not use his name.
Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the fully-clothed bodies of Calzada and Gallegos had evidence of blunt-force trauma, but it’s unclear if that was the cause of death.
It was also unclear whether the deaths were linked to a series of assaults that occurred in the same park last year.