LOS ANGELES – A man in California has been charged with murder after human remains were excavated by LAPD homicide detectives and CSI personnel from a yard in a Los Angeles neighborhood. The remains are believed to be from a person who went missing in June, authorities said Tuesday.
Police responded to a call in the North Hills neighborhood near the intersection of Woodley Avenue and Woodley Place shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday where remains were eventually dug up from a backyard in the area, FOX 11 Los Angeles reported.
During an evening press conference, LAPD said the Woodley location was believed to be one of the key sites in the search for a missing person who had vanished in June 2023.
“We quickly determined that it was not going to be a surface-type investigation,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton. “So we made arrangements to have the coroner’s investigating team come out that specializes in exhuming human remains and making sure that no evidence is missed.”
To retrieve the body, Los Angeles Fire Department crew members dug deep beneath a structure used for storage near the pool house, KTLA reported.
“At some point, somebody thought that they could murder someone and hide the body,” Hamilton said.
A local resident mentioned to FOX 11 of the grim discovery, “You can’t really believe it. It’s like the weirdest thing to happen.”
Footage from the crime scene shows LAFD personnel assisting law enforcement as they dug in the backyard of the 1-acre property near a swimming pool and the pool house.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is tasked with identifying the remains along with the manner and cause of death. Therefore, police have yet to release details about the victim.
However, tidbits of information filtered out to local reporters. The body may be that of a male migrant worker, KNBC-TV reported, citing a law enforcement source. Additionally, the victim was reportedly killed by a relative, a local resident told KTLA.
Deputy Chief Hamilton confirmed with reporters covering the story at the scene that one person is being booked for murder in connection to the case. He did not provide the suspect’s name.
However, KABC-TV identified the individual as 48-year-old Russell Robinson. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and booked into jail.
“Our detectives have been working on this for approximately two weeks and we feel comfortable that we have the right person in custody and that there is no further danger to the North Hills community here in Los Angeles,” Hamilton said.
Robinson is being held on $2 million bail, Fox News Digital reported.
“Someone thought they could murder someone and hide the body,” Hamilton said. “My message is very clear: the Los Angeles Police Department never gives up on homicide investigations. Ever.”