Inside Hollywood’s Gruesome Severed Head Case

It all started with a woman’s routine walk with her mom and her dogs through parkland beneath the famed Hollywood sign.

Suddenly, one of Lauren Kornberg’s dogs found something in a bag. It looked like a movie prop to Kornberg at first, until she realized what it was.

“We were pretty much gasping, saying, ‘Oh, my god!’ ” Kornberg tells HLN. “I was shaking. It still doesn’t feel real.”

The bag contained the head of a middle-aged man. The discovery on Jan. 17 in Bronson Canyon Park in the celebrity-rich Hollywood Hills set off a search for more body parts in a case is as gruesome as it is mysterious.

Authorities have identified the victim – whose dismembered hands and feet were also later found – but are not releasing his name, according to Los Angeles County Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

How and why he died also remain unknown.

Near Brad Pitt’s Home

The head was discovered near the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods not far from Brad Pitt‘s home. Detectives contacted Pitt’s bodyguard and neighbors, according to X17 Online. Pitt and Angelina Jolie take their children to play in that park frequently.

Close to 30 detectives and a cadaver dog were seen investigating in the rough terrain. The hand was located 50 yards from the head.

“It’s standard procedure for us to have our detectives canvass the neighborhood,” Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith tells CNN, adding that Pitt’s bodyguard saw nothing unusual.

Police say the man was probably killed elsewhere and his remains dumped near the sign, but where that murder took place and by whom either isn’t known.

According to the Los Angeles Times, at least one person was questioned by detectives Thursday. Police also reportedly were looking to talk to at least one other man.

The area scoured for body parts, which authorities call their biggest search in recent memory, was reopened Friday.

“Right now there is somebody who committed murder somewhere out there,” says Smith, adding that authorities are “keeping an open mind … on why this poor person was dismembered and deposited up there.”