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Body found by highway identified as Torrance woman, 28

Cori Daye Desmond's car is found near a Redondo Beach bar.

February 18, 2009|Rich Connell

A dead woman found near a San Bernardino Mountains highway was identified Tuesday as 28-year-old Cori Daye Desmond of Torrance, last seen at a Redondo Beach nightclub.

Investigators turned their attention to the South Bay after Desmond's 1998 Jeep Wrangler was found near the Bac Street Lounge on Artesia Boulevard. She was last seen at the bar early Sunday, relatives and authorities said.

San Bernardino County sheriff's detectives worked much of the day with Redondo Beach police, seeking clues in the area where the vehicle was found, said Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department.

On Tuesday evening, investigators were expanding their focus to Manhattan Beach, where Desmond worked at Beaches, a restaurant and bar, Miller said. The North Torrance High School graduate had worked a shift at Beaches before going to the Redondo Beach bar. She knew friends at Bac Street, said her cousin, Thomas Desmond.

Desmond's body was found near a turnout on California 330 below Running Springs on Monday afternoon.

A driver saw what appeared to be a human foot protruding from a bag, officials said.

Tall and slender with brownish blond hair, Desmond had a degree in criminal justice, said her cousin, a Manhattan Beach firefighter.

"She was outgoing. Had a great smile and lots of friends," he said.

She apparently went to the Bac Street alone about 11 p.m. to meet friends and left about 2 a.m., he said.

Desmond may have argued with a patron at Bac Street, but by the time she left "everything appeared to be fine," Miller said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Tony De Cecio or Det. Trevis Newport at (909) 387-3589. Anonymous informants are encouraged to call (800) 782-7463.

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rich.connell@latimes.com

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