Getting the city’s attention is never easy – even when there’s a body part involved

Dog walker Nathan Rosiejka was walking the Corralitas Red Car trail east of Lake View Avenue in Silver Lake Friday afternoon when an object near the path caught his attention. At first he thought it might have been a bag or dog’s squeaky toy. It turned out to be what looked like a stomach (pictured here). Rosiejka didn’t think it was a human organ. But, in light of the discovery of animal remains in nearby Elysian Park, Rosiejka thought it would be a good idea to have someone from the city take a look to make sure nothing nefarious was going on. He spent about 20 minutes on his mobile phone to get either an animal control or police officer to investigate. Eventually Nathan gave up. It seemed that the City of Los Angeles was not very interested in investigating why a stomach would turn up on a path near homes and a preschool. “It was a complete waste of time,” said Nathan.  “I couldn’t even get a confirmation from someone that animal control would come pick it up.”

Rosiejka, who was walking two dogs at the time, said he began making calls after 3 P.M. His first call was transferred to an Animal Services office that had been closed because of budget cuts; another operator informed him that an LAPD unit could be summoned but he would have to wait an indefinite period of time to show the officers where the organ was located (Rosieka had other dogs to walk that day and could not wait around); Another call was rerouted to an animal shelter, where an employee told Rosiejka they could not take care of sick animals.  “It isn’t sick,” Rosiejka told the employee. “It’s a stomach in the middle of the trail.”

The employee then suggested the stomach might have been left over from an animal attack. But Rosiejka noted that the organ didn’t appear to be mangled and there were no other animal remains nearby. The response from the other end of the phone: “Oh, well I can’t do anything about that.”

At that point Rosiejka said he hung up and  just kept walking.


  1. Nathan works for Dog Gone Walkin’ We here this story a lot on Echo Park Animal Alliance message board. We think there is some sick animal ritual sacrifice thing that goes on in Elysian. It happens far too often. I think it may be a low priority for officials because it is hard to get a lead.

  2. This is very disturbing. What groups are known to practice animal sacrifice in the States? Does anyone know? People often seem to point fingers at Santeria but, from what I recall about related court cases in the 1980s, ritual sacrifice in Santeria is generally above ground and deemed “humane” by the courts. Or at least, it seems to be constitutionally protected so I imagine it unlikely that practitioners would be running around Elysian Park after dark. Anyone?

  3. Everybody constantly points fingers to Santeria. I am dubious only because this is a practice that is only practiced by Caribbean-Latinos, not Latinos generally — certainly not practiced by Mexicans and Central Americans, who predominate in the North East LA neighborhoods. (Not to pick on them, but recent East Coast transplants always assume that Latinos in Echo Park are just like the ones they knew in the East Coast — Not.) Even among Caribbean-Latinos, Santeria is not a “mainstream” practice. So really, it is likely to be some other obscure animal ritual practice as it is to be Santeria. Paganism? For all I know, it is some weird sect fundamentalist Christians.

  4. That old Red Car route is cool for mountain
    biking to home resturant. I have seen many strange folks and
    activities occuring back there.

  5. Sorry for the misspelling of “hear” it should be “hear” not ‘here”

  6. The story says Silver Lake, not Elysian Park.
    This is right along the path East of the reservoir.
    Amazing that LAPD or Animal control wouldn’t come out to investigate.

  7. Once, when I was living in Hollywood, my car got shot up. There were two bullet holes and blood from the rear passenger side up to the hood of my car, plus a huge dent where someone fell into my car, and the passenger door handle had been partially ripped off.

    When I called the police to report the incident, the words used, verbatim, were “Oh man, that’s a bummer.” Followed by “well, I’m not quite sure what you’d like us to do about it.”

  8. Cristi, Santeria might not be a mainstream practice in the rest of America, but this is L.A. You can’t generalize about how it’s not Mexicans or Central Americans–you have absolutely no idea. What I do know is that there are MANY botanicas in this city, and it’s not just one single group of people patronizing them.

  9. A few years ago when my daughter was in high school, she came home quite disturbed because her friend told her that she joined a satanic group. What disturbed her was the pictures she was shown of animal sacrifice.

  10. Dooly is right, I’ve got some very close friends of Mexican descent and others of European descent who practice Santeria. It’s not limited to any particular group at all anymore.

  11. I don’t practice santeria, if i had a million dollars i would, find ou who left that stomach lying in a park

  12. “t seemed that the City of Los Angeles was not very interested in investigating why..”

    Surprises me very little. I’ve got a neighbor who abuses and neglects their 3 dogs.
    I’ve called the LAPD, Animal Control, Humane Society and the SPCA.
    ALL OF THEM said, ‘that’s not our department’ and promptly refer me to one of the others.

    All I can hope for is maybe one day they’ll wake up and actually give a shit and followup on my complaint. Until then I’m stuck with watching my neighbors chain three large dogs to a fence with only about 1 1/2 ft of lead, and when the dogs howl (which is constantly) out comes the high powered hose to the face.
    But apparently thats not a high enough priority.

  13. To apathy inc.-
    Thank you for caring enough to report your neighbor’s abuse of her dogs -please don’t stop -Please contact
    PETA at 757-622-7382 and dial 2
    Or in LA:
    Animal Cruelty Task Force: (213) 486-0450
    LA Animal Services(LAAS): (888) 452-7381

  14. Someone who is a legitimate practitioner of Santeria wouldn’t just leave something out on the road like that. There are rules about what happens to the sacrifices, and frequently they are eaten. Chickens and doves are most common; animals with mammal-sized stomachs less so. And yes, Mexicans and Central Americans do practice in Los Angeles.

    I doubt that it’s anything organized. Probably just some sicko.

  15. Talk about generalizations!!!

    Botanicas are NOT Santeria warehouses. I don’t even know if they sell any actual santeria stuff. Just to be clear, Santeria is a religious practice, while Botanicas focus on alternative medicinal stuff. I’ve actually been inside a Bontanica (plenty times) and most of what they sell is just herbs and remedies that Latinos are acquainted with in their home countries. Latinos do have alternative medicinal practices based on Native Amerindian practices and perhaps, also, African practices. Those alternative medicinal practicioners may be curanderos or sobadores but are NOT Santeros and have NO relation to Santeria, which is a whole different set of religious beliefs.

    At this point, it may help if you have some basic understanding of Latino heritage and culture (and perhaps geography) and wide and varied it is. I don’t mean to give you a whole cultural lesson here, but I am consistently shocked at how uninformed people are about their neighbors.

    I was born and raised in LA and the only Santeria practices I’ve ever heard of in LA, were by some Hollywood New Agey-types. Not Latinos — like I said, most Mexicans and Central Americans don’t practice it. So, like I said before, yes, something strange is going on, but why assume Santeria? It is as likely to be Santeria as devil-worship. I just don’t get why everybody things that all of their neighbors are secret Santeros.

  16. Valerie, Thanks so much for the info. I’ll definitely give them a ring. Heartbreaking to say the least.

  17. You people are all idiots. Coyotes ate a dog, that’s all it was, they don’t eat the entrails, they leave them behind. You found a dogs stomach.

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