A burned body was found stuffed into a shopping cart near Victory and Balboa boulevards in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, around 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, Cmdr. Alan Hamilton, the second-in-command at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Bureau said to The Los Angeles Times.
The victim has not been identified because the body was severely burned, and it was unclear if the person was homeless though it was recovered at a spot in Van Nuys that is frequented by transients, according to Hamilton.
The county coroner’s office told The Los Angeles Times that the body was too badly burned to immediately determine its gender or how the person died.
Hamilton said that the case is being investigated by the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division. Detectives have not officially labeled the killing a homicide.
The discovery came after several recent fire attacks on the homeless around Los Angeles that have stirred panic and fear among the city’s homeless, authorities said.
Homelessness has been a top issue in Los Angeles that has attracted national attention after President Trump sent a team to take a firsthand look at the issue, according to Fox News.
Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti, who, in July, issued a public invitation for the president to walk the streets with him and see the suffering and squalid conditions, released a letter to President Trump on Tuesday saying that he looked forward to working together, “but tensions between the White House and officials in heavily Democratic California were also on vivid display,” Fox News reported.
“We must put politics aside,” he wrote.