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Ignacio Tovar Pena, 52

Ignacio Tovar Peña, a 52-year-old Latino, was found dead on Thursday, Feb. 4 after he was struck by a vehicle in the right-hand lane of the 60 Freeway near the South Downey Street exit in East Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators were called to the scene of a hit-and-run fatality about 7:20 p.m. after a man was struck in the far right lane of the freeway, said Lt. Joe Mendoza. 

Peña was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:38 p.m. The coroner's office has deferred a cause of death. Mendoza said investigators are treating it as a homicide. 

The driver who struck Peña fled the scene, Mendoza said. Investigators don’t know why Peña was on the freeway, how long he had been there, or if he was alive before he was struck by the vehicle, Mendoza said. 

Investigators later discovered that many of Peña’s personal belongings were missing, Mendoza said, including his silver 2004 P-T Cruiser car. 

Mendoza said he couldn’t specify what other items were missing, but he said investigators found the burned remains of Peña’s missing car on Saturday in the 1500 block of Knowles Avenue in East Los Angeles, an industrial area about 2.5 miles north of where Peña died. The car had been deliberately set on fire, Mendoza said. 

Investigators don’t have any suspect information. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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