- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An investigation unfolding near the iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles is playing out like a gory movie script, as police worked to identity a man whose body was found in parts over the past two days — first a head on Tuesday, then two hands and two feet on Wednesday.

On Thursday, more than 100 police officers, some on horseback, were searching a Hollywood wilderness park along a winding hiking trail to see if they can find more body parts.

Authorities said the head came from a man believed to be 40 to 60 years old. Police think all the body parts are from the same man, but authorities are trying to confirm that.

Dog walkers found a severed human head inside a plastic bag Tuesday after two of the dogs they were walking began toying with an object. When they shook the bag, a human head fell out onto the ground, according to police Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

The first hand was found as dozens of officers and homicide investigators combed the brush and a coroner’s cadaver dog came upon it about 50 yards from where the head was discovered on Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mounted police officers search the Bronson Canyon area of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, after a human head was discovered Tuesday by two people walking their dogs below the famous Hollywood sign. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)
Mounted police officers search the Bronson Canyon area of Griffith Park in ... more >

The second hand and both feet were found nearby later Wednesday afternoon. No details were immediately available on the condition of the body parts.

The man might have been killed elsewhere in recent days and his body dumped in the park, Cmdr. Smith said. Wild animals in the park may have other body parts, he said.

Police were looking at reports of missing persons, and coroner’s investigators were to check dental records to try to determine his identity.

Cmdr. Smith noted that the area is well traveled by both cars and hikers. A paved road winds around picnic areas and a children’s playground before connecting with a trail that eventually winds up near the Hollywood sign.