Police in Los Angeles said they found the dead body of a man inside an old refrigerator behind a Los Angeles home whose resident was growing illegal cannabis.
The Los Angeles Police Department got a tip in September about a possible body at a house on Runnymede Street in Sun Valley. Officers went to the house and found the body of an unidentified man stuffed inside the refrigerator, said Lt. Bob Toledo of the LAPD. The man appeared to be in his 30s, Toledo said.
Police found a marijuana grow
Police said the body was apparently sitting behind the house for several days. While searching the property, officers discovered an illicit cannabis garden.
“Also, at the rear of the house, we found a marijuana grow inside the rear garage area,” Toledo said.
He said police opened a homicide investigation and had already interviewed at least four people. Neighbor Mickie Lambert told local reporters she heard noises coming from the home a few days before the body was discovered.
“I heard an argument, I guess it was Friday night, but I really didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t realize it was a grow house,” Lambert said. The occupants “seemed nice enough. I would just say hello.”
Workers from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office carted the refrigerator away with the body inside, loaded it into a department truck, and sent it back for an autopsy and, presumably, a toxicology test.
Police did not reveal much information
Police declined to reveal how many plants they found, how much processed cannabis, or what kind of street value the garden had. But they said they removed expensive grow lights and large bags of processed marijuana.
Medical marijuana has been legal in California for nearly 20 years, since voters passed the Compassionate Care Act of 1996. That law explicitly allows the state’s patients to grow small amounts of marijuana at home.
But there are limits on legal grow sizes, and police – local, state, and federal – are aggressive in raiding marijuana farms they claim are illegal. It’s not clear who lived at the house in Sun Valley or who grew the plants, but the grow was apparently large enough to attract attention.
Neighbors said the discovery was out of character for the neighborhood. Connie, a resident who declined to give reporters her last name, said the area was “very quiet” and called the grisly find “very crazy.”
“You don’t know who’s going to come to live near your house,” Connie said. “You don’t know who’s your neighbor.”
The LAPD did not disclose whether there are any suspects or persons of interest in the case. Sun Valley is a relatively young, diverse neighborhood in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. Crime generally isn’t excessive there.