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Police ID head, hands found in Hollywood hills

Dog discovers severed head while out for a walk; head and hands surface later.

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A man's severed head was found near the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles on Tuesday. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

Police believe they know whose head, hands and feet were found in the Hollywood hills, but won’t release the victim's name until they notify relatives, CNN said today.

Los Angeles County Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter said the man is between 40 and 60 years old with graying hair. The man didn’t die in the park, police said, but someone likely transported the body parts to the area. More than 100 officers searched seven acres of Bronson Canyon Park under the Hollywood sign.

"We don't believe the murder occurred up here in the hills," Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith told CNN. "Right now, there is somebody who committed murder somewhere out there."

More on GlobalPost: Severed head, hands found near Hollywood sign

A woman and her mother walking dogs discovered the remains on Tuesday. Lauren Kornberg said her golden retriever Ollie bolted for something in the grass. It picked up something before quickly dropping it and letting it roll down a hill.

"Our assumption was that there was always people filming up there, and it was a prop," Kornberg told CNN. "We walked down the ravine and got closer and realized it was a freshly severed human head."

The resulting search included 30 police officers, 12 coroner’s investigators, mounted police and a SWAT team trained in mountain climbing, CNN said. After police discovered the head, hands and feet appeared on Wednesday and Thursday. The park reopened today.

"If it had not been for the dog walker, we might never have found it," Smith told Associated Press on Thursday, according to Fox News.

Police said someone went to great lengths to hide the body parts, but animals – likely coyotes – unearthed them and dragged them to where searchers discovered them.

In a twist appropriate of the setting, actor Brad Pitt’s home is near the grisly discovery. Police interviewed a bodyguard for the actor, whose movie “Seven” is about a serial killer that decapitates one victim. The bodyguard said he saw nothing unusual, and police said search warrants in the area are standard procedure.

"Most homicide investigations involve the service of search warrants and various locations, and certainly that is something that will probably be part of this investigation," Lt. Andrew Neiman told Reuters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120120/police-id-hollywood-head-hands