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Man found in shallow grave died from blow to head, coroner says

April 19, 2013|By Joseph Serna
  • Bryan Petty, 22, is suspected of the slaying a man and burying him on the side of the 105 Freeway.
Bryan Petty, 22, is suspected of the slaying a man and burying him on the side… (Downey Police Department )

A man found dead in a shallow grave off the 105 Freeway was killed by a blow to the head, an Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman said Friday.

The man, known only as John Doe, could be identified through dental records, said coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey.

A 22-year-old transient, Bryan Petty, has been arrested in connection with the man’s killing.

The remains were found Sunday evening in a shallow grave off an embankment near the 105 Freeway near Bellflower Boulevard in Downey. The remains were too decomposed to easily identify, officials said.

The grave was near a large transient encampment, Downey police said.

Petty, known to frequent the area where the grave was found, has been in police custody since April 12 in connection with an unrelated incident, police said.

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

Petty was being held in lieu of $1-million bail.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

twitter/@josephserna

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