Fetus found near trash can in South El Monte park, sparking homicide investigation

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Homicide detectives are investigating the death of an infant whose body was discovered in the South El Monte area Friday morning. The incident was reported around 8 a.m. in the 1200 block of Lerma Road, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A man fulfilling community service hours was taking out trash when he made the gruesome discovery on the grass in the sprawling Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.
Homicide detectives are investigating after a fetus was discovered in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. (KTLA)

Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives are conducting a homicide investigation after a fetus was found early Friday near a trash can in South El Monte.

A man fulfilling community service hours was emptying trash cans in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area around 8 a.m. when he saw the fetus lying on the grass next to one of the cans and immediately called authorities, according to media reports and a Sheriff's Department statement.

KABC and KNX reported that the fetus was about six or seven months along, and the umbilical cord was still attached. There were no cuts or scratches on the body, which appeared to be fully developed, Det. Hugo Reynaga told KTLA. The Sheriff’s Department has not released information on the possible time or cause of death.

Police are looking for the mother, who they believe may have given birth in the park and could be in need of medical care.

The Sheriff’s Department encourages anyone with information about this incident to contact the department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can also be provided through Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or LACrimeStoppers.org.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.