LAPD Officer Dives into La Brea Tar Pit for Murder Case

An LAPD officer dived into California tar pits in search for clues to a murder.

ByABC News
June 7, 2013, 2:23 PM

June 7, 2013— -- An LAPD police officer emerged from the famous La Brea Tar Pits, famous for the extinct animals who died in its muck, with a piece of evidence to a 2011 murder, police said.

LAPD Sgt. David Mascarenas spent an hour Thursday in the murky pit filled with methane and hydrogen sulfate-filled water and was submerged as deeply as 17 feet, officials said.

"This is the first time someone has been submered in the pits, in my recent memory," said Lauren Girard, manager of Guest Relations at the Page Museum, which oversees the La Brea Tar Pits.

"People aren't usually inclined to drop things into the pits because they are so hard to get to. It's not something that's common. Mostly we find trash that has been blown by the wind or small animals," Girard said.

Mascarenas' dive, however, was successful.

"We did find evidence pertaining to the police investigation," he told ABC News affiliate KABC. "We believe it was there the entire time."

The LAPD would not tell ABC News the details of the 2011 case or what they found.

While the tar pits are not poisonous, Mascarenas did take proper precaution to prevent methane inhalation.

"I was wearing what is called a hazmat dry suit that is supposed to protect you against chemicals and any contaminated water," he told KABC.