A story for every victim

James Daniel Stein, 53

James Stein, a 53-year-old white man, was found dead Tuesday, Feb. 15, in the 4800 block of 112th Street in Lennox, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Stein's body, wrapped in cloth and plastic, was found buried in the backyard of his home, authorities said. He had had been reported missing in December.

According to coroner's records, he was "possibly beaten." A security hold has since been placed on the case, and the coroner's office cannot provide any additional information.

The victim's wife, Gabriela Stein, a 42-year-old Latina, was found dead and buried at the home several days later. She was last seen in January and also reported missing.

Detectives first visited the Stein's house on Feb. 14 after a resident, Jenny Salazar, a 22-year-old Latina, told them at least one body was buried there.

Photo: Marcos Lomeli. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's DepartmentThe woman's ex-boyfriend, Marcos Lomeli, a 26-year-old Latino, was arrested two days later for false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. He and Salazar were occasional renters at the Lennox house, deputies said.

Salazar and Lomeli visited the home Jan. 12 to ask another resident to borrow a truck, an official said. Lomeli allegedly said he needed to move a couple of bodies. When the truck owner refused, the couple fired a gun in the house, beat him and tied him up, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Guillermina Saldana.

The man, whose name was not released, escaped and contacted authorities. On the  afternoon of Feb. 14, deputies were called back to the home by a person saying that Salazar had returned.

Deputies said that when they arrived, Salazar was standing near a pickup truck that has been reported stolen in a carjacking Feb. 13 and that the woman was in possession of property taken in the carjacking.

Salazar was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and was being held on $100,000 bail.

Additionally, the Lennox house caught fire on Feb. 16, hours after Lomeli was arrested.

Arson investigators were trying to determine what caused the fire. Authorities have said the house was used for drug dealing.

-- Nate Jackson

Photo: Marcos Lomeli. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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