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Los Angeles

Police Fear Foul Play in Man's Disappearance

Crime: Engineer, 21, has not been seen since May 27. Signs of struggle are found in his Northridge home, and neighbors say they heard a commotion.

June 08, 2002|SUFIYA ABDUR-RAHMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Police said Friday they suspect foul play in the disappearance of 21-year-old Northridge computer engineer Peter Cruz IV, who has not been seen nor heard from since May 27.

Police officers found blood and overturned furniture in his apartment.

Neighbors said they heard a commotion two days before Cruz was reported missing. Several thousand dollars worth of his belongings were missing, police said, and his car was found near a mall in Panorama City.

Capt. John Sherman of the Los Angeles Police Department's Devonshire Division said police were notified May 31 that Cruz was missing, after some of his friends had been unable to contact him for days.

When the friends went to his residence in the 17800 block of Superior Street, Sherman said, "they observed evidence of a struggle."

Police said a determination on whether the blood in the apartment was Cruz's is awaiting completion of DNA tests.

Det. Orlando Martinez said Cruz's car had been impounded May 31 after sitting near the Panorama Mall.

Cruz's father, Peter, said his son "has been a good boy" and was earning a good living.

Peter Cruz IV, youngest of four sons named Peter, lived alone. He is described as a bald, 5-foot-7, 160-pound man of Filipino ancestry. He also has an extra thumb on his right hand, Martinez said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact homicide detectives at (818) 756-8291 during business hours or at (818) 756-8285 evenings and weekends.

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