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Torrance slaying victim's life was in flux, kin say

Police seek leads in the death of Cori Daye Desmond, 28, whose body was found Monday stuffed in a bag off a San Bernardino County highway.

February 19, 2009|Corina Knoll and Rich Connell

The last nice memory Beverly Desmond has of her only granddaughter, Cori Daye Desmond, is from the evening of Feb. 11. The two, who were roommates for more than a decade, hosted a 23rd birthday party for Cori's younger brother Blake. It was a casual affair at their Torrance home, and Beverly remembers that Cori, 28, was a softer version of her usual jovial self.

"She was tired, because she had been working a long day," said Beverly Desmond, 77. "She took a shower and got in her pajamas early and just sat around and talked."

Fewer than five days later, Cori's body was found stuffed in a bag and dumped in the snow near a San Bernardino County highway, about 100 miles away. Cori's family was notified early Tuesday.

"It's just been a nightmare," Beverly Desmond said Wednesday. "I can't imagine there are people like that out there."

Cori was last seen Sunday morning at 2 a.m. at the Bac Street Lounge in Redondo Beach, where she once worked and often visited, said her cousin, Thomas Desmond.

A graduate of Cal State Long Beach with a degree in criminal justice, she had considered returning to school and becoming a substitute teacher or an X-ray technician. At one point she even applied for the military.

"She wasn't sure what she wanted to do," her stepmother, Monica Desmond, said. Monica Desmond said the family is now making funeral arrangements for Cori, whom she described as a bubbly person with a hearty, distinctive laugh.

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

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corina.knoll@latimes.com

rich.connell@latimes.com

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