Hollywood's Severed Head Mystery Solved with Arrest: Authorities

Hollywood's Severed Head Mystery Solved with Arrest: Authorities
The Hollywood sign
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

03/11/2014 02:45PM

It was a gruesome discovery with a Hollywood twist that turned into a two-year whodunit.

Now authorities believe they've solved the case of the severed head – and other body parts – found in 2012 below the famed Hollywood sign not far from Brad Pitt's house.

Gabriel Campos Martinez, 38, was arrested Sunday in San Antonio, Texas, and is awaiting extradition to Los Angeles in the grisly murder of 66-year-old retired airlines employee Hervey Coronado Medellin.

Although a number of theories had been floated about the killing, detectives had considered Martinez "as a person of interest since the outset of the investigation," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference Monday.

Martinez and Medellin once shared a Hollywood apartment and had been in a relationship, said Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace.

Medellin had been strangled and likely killed someplace else before his remains were dumped in a park below the sign, says Grace. Dog walkers initially came across the head in a plastic bag, then a search turned up hands and feet.

No possible motive was offered.

"We're very happy police did not forget about this crime," Medellin's cousin Juan Gonzalez tells NBC4-TV, "and that they were able to follow through."

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