Investigators are conducting an investigation in an area near the iconic Hollywood Sign on Sunday after hikers who were on a trail in Griffith Park reported finding a human skull in the area on Saturday.
Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Ryan Schatz said that the hikers were trying to cut across a trail when they found the top of the skull to the nose.
"There is part of a trail there, it's quite some distance from the main trail, but there is a small trail that goes in - I think they were trying to ... blaze a path between the main trails," Schatz said describing how the hikers came across the skull.
LAPD homicide investigators and officials from the coroner's office arrived on the scene after the hikers made the discovery around 2 PM on the Brush Canyon trail.
The investigation, however, was suspended overnight because of darkness. Schatz said that the area is marked by very dense brush and overgrowth, which investigators cannot handle in darkness. The lieutenant said that a forensics unit will process the scene using cadaver dogs the following day.
Officials were not able to determine how long the skull had been in the area. They do not also have clear details about the age and gender of the person. The coroner said that it will take more than a week to determine the age and gender of the victim. The cause of death will also be determined later.
Schatz, however, described the skull as very old. The skull appeared to be several years old and it was found in an area of the Bronson Canyon that is hard to reach. Investigators needed to use a rope to rappel several yards to reach it.
It is not the first time that human skeletal remains have been found in this area of the 4,210-acre Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. In 2012, human remains were discovered in the area which led to a homicide arrest.
The Hollywood Sign itself, which often makes appearances in popular culture, is also a frequent target of vandalism and pranks. A security system, however, was already installed to deter vandalism.