Final Victim of 1992 LA Riots Identified

Armando Ortiz Hernandez was 18 when he died in a burned-out Pep Boys
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2017 2:49 PM CDT
Last Unidentified Victim of LA Riots Finally Has a Name
In this April 30, 1992 photo, Los Angeles police form a line to prevent a crowd from going into a building in a day of fires and looting in Los Angeles. After more than 25 years, authorities have identified the last remaining unidentified victim killed during the 1992 riots.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut,File)

After 25 years, the final unidentified body from the 1992 Los Angeles riots has a name, the Los Angeles Times reports. The body of 18-year-old Armando Ortiz Hernandez was found in a Pep Boys on May 2, 1992. According to the AP, authorities say he died of "inhalation of smoke, soot, carbon monoxide, and thermal burns." Hernandez's body was so badly burned coroners only had some of his teeth and a partial print from one finger to try to figure out his identity.

Authorities continued to try to find a match for the print over the years, and finally an FBI squad that typically focuses on disaster victims found one. Hernandez, who until Friday was known only as John Doe No. 80, was identified thanks to a couple of minor arrests prior to his death. His only known relative, a sister living in Mexico, was notified. Hernandez was buried in a mass grave with other unclaimed bodies. Because the Pep Boys had been set on fire, his death was ruled a homicide. It remains one of the 23 unsolved homicides related to the riots, which left 53 people dead and more than 2,000 injured. The deadliest riots in US history started after a jury acquitted four white police officers accused of beating Rodney King, a black motorist. (More LA riots stories.)

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