The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends
Crime & Justice

Body found in hole in San Bernardino backyard identified as local 21-year-old man

Police say they found a decomposing body partially buried in a rental home’s backyard in San Bernardino, and have identified the person as 21-year-old Angel Cortez.

According to San Bernardino police, the body was found yesterday morning behind a home on the 200 block of East 11th Street after the landlord dropped by to fix the place up for renting and smelled a suspicious odor.

The landlord called police, who found the body in a five-foot hole in the yard covered with pieces of wood and other debris, the San Bernardino Sun reports.

Police released the victim’s identity today, according to the Sun. It is not known exactly how long Cortez, a San Bernardino resident, was dead before his body was discovered.

Although Cortez’s death has not been officially ruled a homicide, San Bernardino police homicide Sgt. Gary Robertson amusingly told the Sun, “This is not normal, finding bodies in holes.”

Indeed, several neighbors told KNBC that the area has a drug problem, that this particular residence was a “drug house,” and that they even heard shots from the house last weekend -- but nobody bothered to call police.

Above, video taken by a Sun reporter and posted on YouTube shows the cordoned-off area on the 200 block of 11th Street near where the body was found.