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Police Find Woman's Body Inside El Monte Dumpster, Suspect Arrested

EL MONTE (CBSLA) — Sheriff's detectives and El Monte police were investigating Tuesday after a woman's body was found.

Man Charged With Murdering 64-Year-Old Roommate In El Monte Mobile Home Park
Security video shows a barefoot man pushing a bin toward a set of dumpsters at a mobile home park in El Monte, Calif., on Feb. 4, 2020. The bin is believed to have contained the body of 64-year-old Florinda Velasquez-Hernandez. A 22-year-old man has been arrested on murder charges in her death. (courtesy video)

Officers with the El Monte Police Department responded to the 3300 block of Maxson Road at about 10:25 a.m. for a "suspicious circumstances" call after a person indicated they observed a male dragging a female body toward the dumpsters, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Security camera video showed what neighbors said was a barefoot man pushing a bin that held the body of a 64-year-old woman. Minutes later, the video showed the same man returning without the bin.

Police found the victim's body inside a dumpster a few feet away. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

"All we are willing to disclose is that she was seen by an informant being dragged from a location to the dumpster area," Lt. Brandon Dean, of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, said.

Shortly after finding the body, and not long after that video was recorded, police arrested a suspect in the case.

The family of the victim was at the scene of the discovery, overwhelmed by emotion. One woman said the victim was her mother, Florinda Velasquez Hernandez.

Florinda Velasquez Fernandez
Family members said the body found in the dumpster was that of 62-year-old Florinda Velazquez Fernandez. (Velazquez Family Photo)

The family said Fernandez had immigrated from El Salvador three years ago and lived in the mobile home park in a trailer with at least two men. They said she rented a room inside their home.

Police have not yet said whether the man in the video or the suspect who has been arrested was one of her roommates, though the family said they were trying to get Fernandez to move out of the mobile home park.

Neighbors said they were heartbroken and angry.

"Very degrading," a neighbor said. "I imagine one of my family members getting dumped in some random dumpster, and it's just degrading. No human being deserves that."

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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