Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives were investigating the death of a woman whose beaten and stabbed body was found Tuesday morning beside a dumpster in Compton.
At 6:30 a.m., deputies from the Sheriff’s Department’s Compton station responded to an apartment complex in the 1400 block of South Long Beach Boulevard for a report of a medical emergency, Lt. Robert Westphal said.
Near the tan-colored complex’s dumpsters, deputies found the body of a Latina who had died from blunt trauma and stab wounds, Westphal said.
The lieutenant said the detectives were trying to determine whether the woman had been robbed or sexually assaulted before her death. They had no suspect information but plan to review footage from a number of cameras positioned throughout the apartment complex.
Investigators had yet to identify the woman. “She’s Jane Doe right now,” Westphal said.
Jose Tellez, who lives in the complex and works as its property manager, said he woke up early, as he does every Tuesday and Friday, to push the complex’s dumpsters into the parking lot for pickup. After putting out the dumpsters, Tellez said he stooped to pick up a piece of carpet that had been discarded, intending to toss it in a dumpster.
“I picked up the carpet and I saw the body,” Tellez said.
The woman was lying facedown, the hood of a sweatshirt covering her face, he said. Blood had pooled around her head.
A small knife, the kind one might use to peel fruit, was beside her, Tellez said. There was no blood on the blade.
“I was really scared, and I called 911,” he said.
Tellez did not believe the woman was a resident of the complex where he has lived for the last 20 years. Although he didn’t see her face, he reckoned he would have recognized a tenant from the body structure or clothing alone.
“I know everyone who lives here,” he said.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.