After three months of searching for the man who dealt 52-year-old black man Derick Thornton a fatal blow to the head in downtown Los Angeles on January 2, LAPD Detective A. Marengo says only one witness has come forward, and the case still has no suspects.

The witness account was, however, enough to inform a composite of the man responsible. (We'll update with the sketch once we receive it from the LAPD.)

According to Marengo, Thornton and his attacker are thought to have been arguing…

… at the Union Rescue Mission homeless shelter, located at 545 South San Pedro Street, at about 6:30 a.m. on December 21, 2010, when the altercation turned deadly.

Thornton was knocked out cold by the suspect, then transported to the County-USC Medical Center. After 12 days in a coma, he was pronounced dead on January 2 due to a “subdural hemotoma,” or traumatic brain injury. We've contacted the coroner for official autopsy results.

In a February 2 update to Thornton's homicide report, the Los Angeles Times wrote:

[Detective R.] Nelson said authorities do not know what started the fight, nor do they have a description of the assailant.

The investigation is ongoing, Nelson said, and detectives are asking for witnesses to the fight to come forward.

And Detective Marengo echoes pretty much the same thing today.

Anyone with additional information about the crime is urged to call either Marengo or Detective S. Ortiz at (213) 972-1249.

Note: Due to technical difficulties, the LA Weekly's archive of all homicides within Los Angeles city limits was discontinued near the end of last year. As of April 4, we have been rolling out the 2011 homicides, one by one, and will continue until our “Murder was the Case” archive is up to date. Thanks for your patience.


LA Weekly