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Police say drinking pal shot friend in Van Nuys, tossed body in dumpster


Some details remain sketchy, but this much is known: A man was shot and killed by a drinking buddy in a Van Nuys apartment building Sunday evening, then his body tossed into the downstairs dumpster.

Police say Tito Diaz, 43, was drinking with a man later identified as 25-year-old Saul Zacarias at around 7:25 p.m. Sunday when a gun went off, twice, killing Zacarias.

Police say Diaz then tried to dispose of the body and enlisted the help of 25-year-old William Jimenez, a childhood friend of the victim.

They apparently didn’t try too hard: The body was carried to a trash container downstairs, according to Detective Marc Martinez of the LAPD Van Nuys Division.

“They tried to hide him in a dumpster,” Martinez told KPCC -- a dumpster in the bottom-floor parking lot of the same apartment complex, located on the 14600 block of Friar Street.


'Disturbing' discovery of severed dog heads in South LA dumpster, says LAPD

dog leash

Photo by joshuaseye via Flickr Creative Commons

"This is despicable and very disturbing and we want to find out who did this," said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith about the discovery of two severed dog heads inside a South LA dumpster, reports the L.A. Times.

A resident called police after finding the remains around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday near the intersection of Slauson and S. Vermont avenue.

The animals were identified as a chocolate Labrador retriever and a tan German shepherd mix. The canines were beheaded with what investigators believe was "a very sharp object." 

LAPD's Animal Cruelty Task Force and the LA Department of Animal Services are investigating the killing. Authorities said it was unclear if the dogs were from the area or if their remains were just discarded there.

"If they could do this to defenseless animals, who knows what they are capable of," Smith stated.