Detectives are investigating the death of a woman, estimated to be in
her 30s, who fell from a red car onto the eastbound 210 Freeway, west of
Hubbard Street. A witness saw the car weaving wildly across lanes then
the passenger door flew open and a woman fell out.
“Clearly, something was amiss in the car,” explained Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division. “A struggle? An argument? Pushed? Jumped out? It’s hard to classify her death without knowing the details of what happened in the car.”
Around 1:30 a.m., the witness, a woman driving home to Sylmar, saw the car swerving and stopped to help the victim after she fell out. “It was a valiant effort, but before our good Samaritan could coax the woman to safety, a passing car stuck the victim,” Lt. Vernon said. As she lay on the pavement, several cars and trucks ran over the body. The witness tried to stop traffic but to no avail. “Our witness really deserves allot of credit for risking her life.”
The red car continued to drive, making no attempt to stop. Police closed the freeway from the 5 Freeway interchange to the Maclay exit until 9:15 a.m. “This driver’s failure to stop, of course, raises our suspicions as to what happened in the car,” Lt. Vernon added. “Every minute this person remains at large and unidentified, our suspicions lean toward malice, foul play, and murder.”
Detectives described the victim in her 30s with a quarter-size tattoo on her neck and a tattoo of written script text, possibly in a foreign font.
“The question of the day is: ‘What happened in that car and by what means did the victim leave the car?’” Lt. Vernon said. “The first step will be to identify the woman. That will open the case up and lead us to her family and probably that car.”
Meanwhile, detectives will await the coroner’s findings on the state of the victim’s body, such as the presence of wounds preceding her fall from the car. Such injuries would be indicative of malice and intent.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective Gretchen Schultz, Mission Homicide Unit, at (818) 838-9951. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.
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