Burned body found in shopping cart in Chinatown – NBC Los Angeles

A grisly discovery was made Tuesday morning in Chinatown after a woman’s body was set on fire and stuffed into a shopping cart abandoned on the street, the LAPD said.

Police said they didn’t yet know if the woman died before or after she was set on fire, and that she was so badly burned they couldn’t even tell her age.

The charred clothing items were left after a woman’s body was trapped inside that shopping cart and set ablaze on Wilhardt Street and Main Street, the LAPD said.

Detectives said the gruesome scene was spotted just before 5 a.m. Tuesday morning by a man arriving at work in the industrial arts district.

“The fire was still burning — this person used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out,” said LAPD Lt. Ryan Rabbett.

Police said surveillance video from businesses in the area at the time of the fire spotted a man on a bicycle. He was seen walking towards the Main Street Bridge – a block away – where police were also looking for evidence.

“It’s just incredibly sad. That’s not what this neighborhood is about at all,” said Genevieve Burress.

Burress lives nearby and says she doesn’t feel unsafe here after dark, despite numerous homeless camps and drug activities.

“I’ve seen people using drugs running around the tracks. I called the police and saw people starting fires. The fire department was called a couple of times,” she said.

Police don’t know if the victim was homeless because they haven’t been able to identify her yet.

Sarah Buckley, who works at a nearby art studio, believes the inhumanity shown here is the result of society’s systemic failure to address mental health issues.

“People who are being driven into this place — it would take a lot for the human mind to develop a reaction to do something like that to someone that is just abhorrent,” she said.

LAPD has not released the surveillance video, and detectives are not saying if it took pictures of the woman being set on fire, but LAPD has pictures of the man on the bike and investigators are now looking for him.

Anyone with information regarding the death was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

Comments are closed.