Skull, Other Human Remains Found During Backyard Search in 2009 Cold Case

The backyard search began Thursday after investigators received a tip in a 2009 missing person case

Investigators searching a backyard in connection with a 2009 missing person case discovered a human skull and other skeletal remains Friday.

L.A. County homicide detectives and members of the L.A. County coroner's office were sent to the Valinda home at about 7 a.m. Thursday after investigators received a tip that human remains were possibly buried in the backyard, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"All I can say, right now, is human remains -- I'll tell you that there is a skull there," said sheriff's Lt. Vic Lewandowski. "Beyond that I can't get into it because now we are speaking to evidence in a murder."

Investigators are working to determine whether the remains found in the home, located on the 700 block of Elsberry Avenue, about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, were possibly those of the missing person, identified only as an adult.

Identification could require several days and may not be known till Monday or Tuesday, said Asst. Chief Coroner Ed Winter. 

Neighbors told NBC4 they were shocked to hear about a homicide case that led to their San Gabriel Valley community.

"Yesterday, I kept telling people I hope they don't find anything," said resident Rosemary Moreno.

Current residents of the Elsberry Avenue home have cooperated with investigators, according to the sheriff's department.

NBC4's Toni Guinyard contributed to this report.

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