A severed human head has been found on a hiking trail leading up to the Hollywood sign, the iconic symbol photographed by millions of tourists every year, police said early Wednesday.
Police are working to identify the head, discovered late Tuesday in a bag by two female dog walkers hiking below the huge sign, on the hillside above the US movie business capital.
The women saw two of their dogs playing with an object, which on closer inspection turned out to be a severed head. ABC7 television reported that it appeared to be "relatively fresh."
The LA Times newspaper reported that the head belonged to an Armenian American in his 40s with salt and pepper hair. Los Angeles has a large Armenian community.
Detectives were guarding the Canyon Drive crime scene overnight, and would resume looking for other body parts Wednesday, said a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spokesman.
The hillsides around the Hollywood sign are criss-crossed with trails used by hikers, horse riders, and tourists seeking to reach the Tinsel Town symbol, visible from miles away on the northern rim of the sprawling city.