Police Still Seek Public’s Help


Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives are still investigating two deaths that occurred in the area, both with bodies burned.

On March 31, the body of Jacob Burns, 21, of San Gabriel Valley was found burned in his 1992 white Honda on Sister Elsie Drive in Tujunga.

“We still haven’t made any identification of the perpetrators and still don’t know the motive,” said Det. Jose Martinez.

Burns used to work at a bank in Pasadena but detectives do not know the reason for his death.

“We are still looking for any information,” he said.

The second death occurred on June 21 on La Tuna Canyon. It was about 3 a.m. when the fire department was called concerning a fire on La Tuna Canyon near a trailhead. Fire officials discovered a body of a man on fire later identified as Cesar Daniel Verdugo, 35, of Los Angeles.

“He was a resident of east Los Angeles,” Martinez said. “We are looking into how he came to be at La Tuna Canyon.”

There was no vehicle discovered at the area.

“Both [deaths] were in secluded areas,” Martinez said.

Although La Tuna Canyon is a well-traveled area, the traffic during certain times has vehicles traveling a little faster than the posted speed limit and drivers may not have noticed anything on the side of the road, he added.

It is hoped that someone may remember seeing something and will contact the police.

Police are still looking for information. Anyone who knows anything concerning either deaths are asked to contact LAPD Foothill Division at (818) 756-8861 or to provide an anonymous tip text 274637 or call (800) 222-8477.