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Apparently two men occupied the small apartment at 7654 Fountain Avenue until one month ago.
While one of the two men decomposed, the other apparently made himself scarce.
No one in the building has seen him or his car for roughly four to five weeks.
Investigators refuse to share any information they might have, but neighbors are willing to talk, if not always willing to attach their name to reports.
A women above the street front apartment had complained of a “death smell” for at least five weeks to the apartment manager, said one neighbor who declined to be identified.
This car, a 1989 Volkswagen Fox, was taken away by investigators to determine if it belonged to the deceased. A car owned by a roommate, a green Honda, has not been seen in the neighborhood for at least four weeks. Photo by WeHo News.
John Rivera, a neighbor just behind the apartment in which the as yet unidentified male was found, told WeHo News that he smelled the rank odor of morbidity, but thought it a dead pet turtle lost by another neighbor.
“I walked past it every day, and the smell would follow,” he said. “It wouldn’t really present itself until you were just past the apartment, so it was hard to locate.”
Mr. Rivera confirmed the upstairs woman’s story that two men had lived in the apartment for as long as anyone could recall.
He said, “They seemed like brothers.”
She thought, “They weren’t like a couple; they didn’t act like they were anything other than roommates.”
Beyond that, she said, “One of the guys as really nice; he helped me upstairs with my groceries when I was pregnant and drove me to work once when I lost my car keys. The other one was a little stand-offish.”
Mr. Rivera confirmed that description of the pair. “One of the guys was slender and real outgoing. He wore glasses,” he said.
According to him, “the other one was heavier and walked with a limp. He was more of a shut in, I think.”
Investigators look on as the coroner removes a badly decomposed corpse from a West Hollywood apartment. Photo by WeHo News.
He described the other man as one who worked strange hours, sometimes coming home from work at 4:00 or 5:00 am.
He drove an older model green Honda, “Maybe an Accord,” he said.
“He parked it on the street. I have to park on the street, too, and I walk my dog, so I would see it.
“I haven’t seen that car in the neighborhood for at least a month.”
Mr. Rivera said that the car taken away by investigators belonged to the man with the limp.
“That car seldom moved.”
The coroner’s office has not yet found or notified the next of kin, so is not releasing the dead man’s identity.
They also are conducting tests to determine the cause of death, which has not yet been determined.
Investigators have not ruled out homicide and have not said they are looking for the roommate as a person of interest, pending further investigation.
WeHo News will keep you abreast of developments as they occur.