Human head, hand found in Hollywood hills

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles investigators found a human hand Wednesday in the Hollywood wilderness park where a severed head in a plastic bag was discovered by dog walkers, and the search continued for other body parts.

The hand was discovered in Bronson Canyon as dozens of police officers, including homicide investigators, combed the brush along a winding trail a few miles below the Hollywood sign.

A coroner's cadaver dog found the hand about 50 yards (45 meters) from where the head was discovered on Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Two of the dogs began to play with the bag and what appeared to be an object. While the dogs were playing with it, at some point the object came out of the bag and they discovered that it was a head — a severed head," Sgt. Mitzi Fierro told CBS station KCAL-TV. The bag was visible from the trail, she said.

The remains are believed to come from the same man. Wild animals in the park may have taken some other body parts, police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.

The head of a man in his 40s, 50s or 60s was found about a half-mile inside the gated canyon road, which is part of the vast Griffith Park.

"One of the dogs ran into the brush and came out carrying a plastic grocery bag. As the dogs shook the plastic grocery bag the severed human head fell out of the bag and onto the ground." Smith told KCBS-TV.

A dog walker is seen in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles Jan. 17, 2012, after police responded to a report that a human head was discovered nearby.
A dog walker is seen in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles Jan. 17, 2012, after police responded to a report that a human head was discovered nearby.
KCAL-TV

The man may have been killed elsewhere in recent days and his body dumped in the park, Smith said.

The man wasn't immediately identified. Police were checking reports of missing persons and coroner's investigators will check dental records.

Smith noted that the canyon is well-traveled by both cars and hikers. A paved road winds around picnic areas and a children's playground before connecting with a trail that eventually winds up near the Hollywood sign.