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Bodies of 2 Missing Men Are Found in San Diego

November 02, 1994|JAMES BENNING | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Two Redondo Beach men who disappeared mysteriously last week from a Torrance cellular phone store were found dead in a San Diego parking lot, and police said they are investigating the possibility that they were kidnaped and murdered.

The bodies, discovered Monday, were identified from fingerprints Tuesday as Peter Kovach, 26, and Ted Gould, 29, said Lt. Wally Murker of the Torrance Police Department.

The two disappeared from the small phone and beeper shop where they worked the evening of Oct. 26. When the owner arrived at the shop late that night, the front door was unlocked, the lights were on and the missing men's car keys were still on their desks.

Workers at Rossfelder Corp., a light industrial firm in northern San Diego, discovered the bodies about 9 a.m. in the parking lot behind a commercial laundry, police said. The workers initially believed the bodies were mannequins and part of a Halloween prank, San Diego police said.

Investigators said the men, who had been dead for several days, may have been killed elsewhere and dumped at the San Diego site. They have no suspects and no motive for the disappearance, Murker said. Authorities would not release information about the condition of the bodies.

The shop's owner, R. J. Panah, said he drove by the store at 11 p.m. on Oct. 26, noticed the lights on and stopped by. Panah said a friend of Gould's told him that the men were missing when he had arrived at the store three hours earlier for a dinner appointment.

No cash, furniture or merchandise was missing. In fact, Gould's prescription sunglasses were left in the shop, as was Kovach's $1,200 cellular phone. The men never left without those items, Panah said.

Panah, who described the men as model employees, was notified of the discovery of the bodies Tuesday. Gould had worked at the shop only three weeks before he disappeared, Panah said, and Kovach had worked there about a year.

Times staff writer Tony Perry in San Diego contributed to this story.

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