Los Angeles police are investigating a possible homicide after discovering that body parts found separately at two local sanitation plants belonged to the same person.
A leg and foot of an unidentified woman were discovered Saturday at a water pollution control plant in Carson, Calif., authorities said. A plant employee notified police after finding the remains in a bin that holds debris separated from water, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.
The plot thickened on Monday, when city workers found a human head and upper torso at a water treatment plant in the neighboring city of Industry. The two plants are located within 30 miles of each other.
“The body may have entered in one piece and been torn apart as it moved through the system,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Rosson said during a news conference Monday.
“Anything that comes into this water plant must move through a 17-inch line before going through a centrifugal pump,” Rosson said. “So you can imagine what kind of damage to a person’s body would happen.”
Investigators do not believe the body was mutilated before entering the sewage system, Rosson told ABC News today. The facility in Industry does not handle solid waste, he said, so mechanical equipment separates the liquid and solid refuse before it arrives in the facility. This process is what likely sent the body parts to two different locations, Rosson said.
A representative for the Los Angeles County Sanitation District confirmed to ABC News that an investigation is taking place but he declined to provide details about the case.
Police are still investigating the case as a possible homicide, Rosson said, but have not identified any suspects yet. A representative for the LA County Sheriff’s Office said they hope to identify the victim within the next few days.