Missing Report Turns To Tragic Homicide Investigation

November 26, 2000

Sunday, November 26, 2000

"Missing Report Turns To Tragic Homicide Investigation"

Los Angeles – On Friday, September 8, 2000, Londy Massiel Acevedo, contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and reported her mother, Julia Morales, a female Hispanic, 52 years of age and her brother Jorge Sarmiento, a male Hispanic, 34 years of age were missing. Ms. Acevedo reported on that date she had left for work early in the morning and when she returned home her mother and brother were missing. The circumstances of their disappearance prompted her to contact Police.

The investigation was initially assigned to the Los Angeles Police Departments’ Missing Persons Unit. After several weeks of investigation, information was developed that led the Missing Persons Detectives to believe that foul play may have been involved in the mother and sons disappearance. At that time the investigation was referred to Newton Area Homicide Detectives for additional investigation. Working with other Department entities and outside agencies, Detectives developed information, which led them to believe that the missing mother and son may have been murdered. Additional information also indicated their remains may have been buried in the vicinity of their residence at 410 E. Vernon Avenue. On October 12, 2000, Detectives used cadaver dogs to search the area of the residence. This effort was unsuccessful.

During the course of the investigation that continued, additional information was developed that led detectives to believe that an additional search of the residence was necessary. That search was undertaken on November 26, 2000. During the early evening hours, Detectives and Investigators from the Los Angeles County Coroners office uncovered initial evidence of human remains in a grave four feet deep, in the crawl space beneath the residence.

The investigation is continuing to facilitate the recovery of all remains and to recover what if any additional evidence that may assist in the identification of the deceased and possible suspects. An examination of the remains will be conducted to determine if they are in fact those of the missing mother and son. It is unknown when that examination will take place. No suspect information is available at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detectives McKnight or Rico at 323-846-6589.

This information was provided by Lieutenant John Dunkin of Newton Detectives.

This press release was prepared by Officer Don Cox, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.

For Release 5:00 pm PST
November 26, 2000