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Body found in 105 Freeway grave can't be identified easily

April 17, 2013|By Joseph Serna

Human remains found in a shallow grave in Downey are too decomposed to easily identify, a Los Angeles County coroner's official said Wednesday.

The body -- identified only as John Doe -- was found buried off an embankment of the 105 Freeway near Bellflower Boulevard on Sunday afternoon. The area is known for having a large transient encampment, Downey police said.

A coroner's official said investigators will have to rely on fingerprints to identify the body. If those are too decomposed, investigators may have to see if they can find dental records. An autopsy could be performed Thursday, officials said.

Downey police made an arrest related to the grave, police officials said Wednesday.

Bryan Petty, 22, was arrested after police were given information implicating Petty, said Lt. Mark McDaniel. Petty, a transient known to frequent the area where the grave was found, has been in police custody since Friday on an unrelated incident.

Police believe Petty killed the unidentified man sometime before then, McDaniel said. He added that it does not appear anyone else was involved in the slaying.

Petty remains in custody, now on suspicion of murder and in lieu of $1-million bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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