LOS ANGELES (AP) — A victim of the 1992 riots in Los Angeles whose identity was a mystery for 25 years now has a name: Armando Ortiz Hernandez.
The 18-year-old Hernandez was recently identified through fingerprints, Los Angeles County coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter said Friday.
Hernandez died of “inhalation of smoke, soot, carbon monoxide and thermal burns,” Winter said. His body was found May 2, 1992, inside an auto parts shop that was set ablaze during the riots in South Los Angeles.
Investigators have said they were able to lift a single fingerprint from Hernandez’s left middle finger. The coroner’s office did not immediately respond to questions Friday about whether Hernandez’s fingerprints had been run through databases previously.
Attempts to reach Hernandez’s family members on Friday were unsuccessful.
The looting and violence that would turn into one of the deadliest race riots in American history was sparked after a jury acquitted four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. Video shot by a citizen captured officers repeatedly striking, kicking and using a stun gun on King, even after he was on the ground.
A total of 53 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured during several days of violence.
Follow Michael Balsamo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1 .
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