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Teen Reported Kidnapped With Girl Is Found Dead

Crime: Body of Yorba Linda youth was discovered in Los Angeles. His girlfriend says they were held hostage and tortured.

March 05, 1998|LORENZA MUNOZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Investigators say they have found the body of Chad MacDonald Jr., the 17-year-old boyfriend of a girl who has told authorities that the pair were kidnapped and held hostage for three days before being left to die in Angeles National Forest. The body of MacDonald, who had been strangled, was discovered by Los Angeles Police Department officers in a South Los Angeles alley Tuesday afternoon. MacDonald, of Yorba Linda, was identified early Wednesday, and Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives, who are conducting the investigation, were notified.

MacDonald's 16-year-old girlfriend, whose name has not been released, told detectives that she and her boyfriend were kidnapped Sunday in Norwalk and held in a home by several men for three days. The men raped her and stabbed MacDonald a number of times, she told authorities.

Then, she said, the assailants forced them into two cars and drove them to Angeles National Forest. She said one of the vehicles--her Saturn--had a flat tire on the way. The Saturn was abandoned, and the teenagers were transferred to the other car and driven to a heavily wooded area about 12 miles north of Azusa, she said.

The girl said she was shot at the entrance to a corrugated metal drainage pipe before the suspects drove off.

"We assume the girl was taken there and left to die," said Deputy Cruz Solis. "The girl was under the impression that they left her boyfriend in the same area."

But the men apparently took MacDonald to South Los Angeles and left him there.

"The victim was positively identified by the coroner's office this morning," Deputy Steve Sciacca said Wednesday. "He was initially a John Doe."

A motorist spotted the wounded, partially clad girl walking down California 39 at East Fork Road near San Gabriel Reservoir on Tuesday morning and drove her to a nearby fire station. A county Fire Department helicopter took her to County-USC Medical Center, where she was being treated for a gunshot wound in the jaw. She was reported to be in stable condition Wednesday.

The missing Saturn was found Wednesday, parked at a hamburger stand in Baldwin Park.

As many as three people were involved in the attack, authorities said.

The 16-year-old girl attended Esperanza High School in Anaheim, where MacDonald had been a student until he transferred recently to an alternative high school, officials said. Esperanza students Wednesday were horrified by the news, and clung together trying to understand what had happened.

Principal Ray Plutko said students were receiving crisis intervention counseling throughout the day at the 3,000-student school that serves mostly Placentia and Yorba Linda.

James Chiong, 20, of Newport Beach, said he had known MacDonald for more than two years. They met through several Orange County-based car clubs the two belonged to, including "Twisted," "Visual Perfection" and "Fatal Intentions."

Members hung out together to compare notes on upgrading their vehicles and to admire each other's cars. MacDonald, who bought his white Nissan truck for about $8,000, put an additional $5,000--"every paycheck he got"--into improvements such as lowering the vehicle, Chiong said.

There were flowers, condolence notes and other momentos left outside MacDonald's home in a well-kept middle-class Yorba Linda neighborhood marked by tiled-roof and stucco homes.

On Wednesday, MacDonald's truck sat in the driveway of his home and became the focus of a makeshift memorial erected by friends and relatives who arrived throughout the day to pay tribute. Someone posted a sign that read: "We love you Chad" and included a heart-shaped picture frame with a picture of MacDonald when he was 12 years old.

On Wednesday, detectives were still searching for the assailants.

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