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Women's Deaths Not Linked, Police Believe : 2 Bodies Found in Sepulveda Dam Area

July 22, 1987|CLAUDIA PUIG and GABE FUENTES | Times Staff Writers

The bodies of two women were discovered within a half-mile of each other in the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area Monday and Tuesday, but police do not believe their deaths are related, authorities said.

Detectives believe a young woman whose body was found Monday near the 16200 block of Burbank Boulevard was a prostitute who may have been strangled by someone who picked her up, Detective Pat Anguiano said.

The woman was identified tentatively as an 18-year-old who came to the Sepulveda Boulevard area from Seattle with her boyfriend recently to work as a prostitute because the couple needed money, Anguiano said.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office also was determining whether she had been sexually molested, but there was no visible evidence of that or of drug abuse, he said. The body was found about 4 p.m. by a 23-year-old man who was waiting to play baseball in the park, Anguiano said.

Boyfriend Not Suspected

The woman was last seen alive on Sunday by her boyfriend on Sepulveda Boulevard, he said. The boyfriend is not now a suspect in her death, he said.

A man who regularly takes walks through the area discovered the second body at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Detective Steve Hooks said, in the woods just south of Burbank Boulevard and east of Hayvenhurst Avenue.

The decomposed body was partly visible but wrapped in an a tarpaulin, the detective said. He estimated that the woman had been dead several days and was 25 to 35 years old. Hooks would not say whether or not the body was clothed.

Detectives do not know the woman's identity nor the cause of her death, but "feel fairly certain that it was a homicide," Hooks said. An autopsy was to be conducted.

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