The Unnamed: Los Angeles Bus Stop Does

          On a hot July day in 1992, two young people were gunned down in Los Angeles by a car full of people they had never met before. Though their murders were solved, their identities remain unknown to this day, thirty years later. Who are the Los Angeles Bus Stop Does? Let’s explore.

The Discovery

          Shortly after 8 PM on July 19, 1992, two young people were standing at the corner of Vernon Ave and Compton Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. They were apparently waiting for a bus when a car full of young men in a passing vehicle shot at them. Both Does were struck in the drive-by shooting and were transported to a nearby hospital, where the younger boy was pronounced dead on arrival. The older victim succumbed to their wounds the following day – they only briefly regained consciousness once while in the hospital. Neither individual had any form of identification on their person.

The Description

          The first of the Does was thought to be between 13 and 19 years old at the time of their death. They stood at 5’6” tall and weighed 170 lbs. they had dark hair, brown eyes, faint facial hair, and a dark complexion. The only notable markings on their body were three scars on their left thigh and hip. They were wearing a plain tee, jeans, and sneakers at the time of their death. 
           The second Doe was thought to be slightly younger than the first, somewhere between 12 and 17 years old, based on their slimmer build. They stood at 5’6” and weighed 128 lbs. They also had dark hair and brown eyes, though their complexion was lighter than their companion’s. They had a scar on their upper right arm. They were wearing a plain tee, jeans, tennis shoes, and a black Casio watch at the time of his death. 

(An artist rendering of the older Doe.
via the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children)
(An artist rendering of the younger Doe.
via the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children
)

The Investigation

          The first clue in the case was that the car had been navy with a white top. It was thought that the shooting was random and/or part of a sort of “gang initiation,” as that area of Los Angeles was apparently rife with gang-related crime at the time. However, I can’t find anything regarding suspects being identified, so we can’t really say for sure. Our two Does also did not display any signs of gang affiliation whatsoever, so it would be unlikely that they were murdered as the result of a feud – rather, they would have been the victims of a random act of gang violence.
            The other aspect of this scant investigation is the fact that people in the neighborhood, and the bus driver on the route the Does were murdered on, were seemingly familiar with them but did not know their names. How can so many people recognize them but not have any ideas of their names? It’s very strange. Unfortunately, with no one coming forward to claim the remains, both Does were cremated without DNA samples being taken. And the case went cold immediately.

Possible Identities

          Unfortunately, I only really see two possibilities for the Does in this case based on my research and the area – and neither possibility lends to identifying missing persons that may be these Does. The first possibility, and by far the most popular theory online, is that these Does were undocumented immigrants at the time of their murders. This makes sense, considering the time of year and the area – Los Angeles has historically had a concentrated population of undocumented immigrants, and June to July is a solid harvest season in southern California. These were young, seemingly able-bodied people. I don’t think it is too much of a leap to consider the idea of migrant work.
        The second scenario is that these two were missing persons that were never reported missing. There are always a number of reasons why someone goes unreported, so we can only speculate as to why. The only way this scenario would make sense to me, though, is if these two ran away from home and were either related – running away together as siblings or cousins – or met while living on the streets of Los Angeles.
          There are currently no Rule Outs for the younger of the two Does. The older Doe only has one Rule Out – Michael Miranda, who went missing from Porterville, California on July 13, 1992. He was last seen going for a solo hike with no supplies.

Investigating Agencies

          If you or anyone you know has any information regarding the identity of these two Does, no matter how small, please contact the investigating agencies. The Los Angeles County Coroner can be reached at 323-343-0512 in reference to case number 1992-06560; the Newton Division of the Los Angeles Police Department can be reached at 323-846-6556 in reference to case number 92-1322978. The National Crime Information Center case number for this case is U596014674. The NamUs case number is 3774. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children case number is 1184146. It’s been thirty years. This pair deserves their names back.

Sources

4 thoughts on “The Unnamed: Los Angeles Bus Stop Does

  1. Steve

    The likelihood these two young men were seasonal field laborers seems unlikely to me.
    I grew up around that area, it is nowhere near any seasonal field work, as it is a 100% urban setting.
    I feel the best explanation is the gang initiation type scenario, as I know firsthand what the climate in Los Angeles was around that time.

    1. I think most people looking into the case think these two originally came into the country for migrant work and then stayed, and that’s why there are no missing persons cases matching them. No citizenship documentation, no real ability to go to the police to report them missing. Regardless of how they came to be in Los Angeles, it seems to me that they were somehow separated from their families – why else were their bodies never claimed?

      1. Steve

        Makes sense CJ
        But the colors and gang activity make it more of a crime of opportunity. Senseless killings happen everyday, unfortunately.

        The fact that no one has claimed them doesn’t surprise me.

      2. Yes, it seems that they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I do think the gang initiation explanation is the most likely – that or they were mistaken for someone else.

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