The body of a woman who appeared to have been in her 30s was found floating in the lake at Hollenbeck Park today, police said.
In 2012 the bodies of two young, Eastside women were found in Silver Lake and Boyle Heights, and those cases remain unsolved, a detective told us today. However, there are no indications so far that today's find is linked, and it's not even clear if those two cases were in any way related to each other, he said.
In fact, the Hollenbeck Park discovery …
… is not a homicide case, at least not yet. It's possible the woman died accidentally or by other means. That will be up to the coroner's office to determine, LAPD Det. Gus Villanueva told us.
A coroner's official told us investigators had been dispatched to the scene. Likewise, LAPD officials said today's case was being handled by homicide detectives with the local Hollenbeck Division.
If there were were wider implications, the case will be taken over by the department's Robbery-Homicide Division. “Not yet,” a detective there said.
The find was reported about 10:10 a.m., Villanueva said. The park is near Fourth and St. Louis streets. Responding authorities declared the woman dead at the scene, he said.
“We'll have to wait for the coroner to weigh in to see if it's a homicide,” Villanueva said.
[Update at 5:56 p.m.]: Capt. Martin A. Baeza of the Hollenbeck Division told us that witnesses identified the woman as a transient who lives under the 5 freeway bridge that runs over the park.
Police were told she was a drug user, he said.
“There were no signs of trauma or foul play,” Baeza said. “We have not ruled out suicide, a possible overdose, or an accident. We're investigating it as a homicide until we determine otherwise. We haven't ruled anything out.”
Cops know who the woman is but were withholding her name until they could track down and notify loved ones, he said.