Mario Herrera of Long Beach I.D.'d as Dead Man Found Atop Fertilizer Heap in Park

Other than thinking it looked on the teevee like a pretty nice park for someone to leave a body in, I pretty much shrugged at the grisly discovery in Manhattan Beach related by an LA anchorbot last week.

But the poor soul has been identified as an almost local father of a toddler: Mario Herrera, 21, of Long Beach.


City landscaping workers found his body wrapped in plastic atop a heap of freshly delivered fertilizer around 3:30 p.m. Thursday near the conservation center at Polliwog Park in the 1500 block of North Peck Avenue.

Sheriff's investigators do not believe Herrera died at the park, but they do not yet know if they are dealing with a victim of homicide or overdose who was dumped there. An autopsy was inconclusive as to the cause of death, which is pending the completion of toxicological tests. No one has been arrested.

Karmyna Lopez, Herrera's girlfriend and the mother of their son, reportedly told KNBC/4's Kim Baldonado she last heard from him July 6, when he texted that he would see her the next morning. Lopez says she knew something was wrong when he did not show up. “He would call me every day, he would text me,” she said, “it was the first time he didn't call me.”

Herrera's family reported him missing last Wednesday, July 10, the day before his body was found. They have since placed flowers, balloons and photos at the spot where the young man's body was found.

“My son didn't deserve this,” his mother Martha Vergara, pleading for the public's help to find whoever left the body, says in the TV news piece. An uncle added they have no clue as to who could be responsible as his nephew made friends easily and had no known enemies.

A mystery inside an enigma wrapped in plastic.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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