Detectives investigating possible gang ties in 12-year-old’s death

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Homicide detectives confirmed Tuesday that the death of a boy whose body was found on the side of Sand Canyon Road with gunshot wounds Monday morning is being investigated for possible connections to gang activity. 

Medical examiners on Tuesday identified the boy as 12-year-old Willians Lemus Ayala, of Canyon Country. 

Lt. Arturo Spencer, who’s in charge of the investigation, declined to state any specifics about the victim or the possible circumstances surrounding the death, or to say definitively it is related to gangs. He said the information detectives have so far is preliminary in asking the public for help. 

“We’re not going to say that the victim is directly involved in gangs,” Spencer said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We’re investigating the case and looking at it as being potentially gang-related — that’s all I can say.” 

He confirmed that no suspect information is available at this time. 

“No one’s been arrested, and no one’s been identified as a suspect,” he said. “We don’t have a motive yet. We’re still in the early stages of the investigation and we’re urging the public to provide any information that we can glean any leads from.” 

He said anyone who might have been in the area — on Sand Canyon Road, south of Placerita Canyon Road, on Monday morning, even if they’re not sure if it’s important, might be able to help detectives by reaching out to the Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies initially discovered the body following a medical call the station received at 6:31 a.m., Spencer said.   

Medical personnel with the L.A. County Fire Department were dispatched to where the boy’s body was found, in a remote stretch of Sand Canyon Road, near Mile Marker 6.27, at 6:33 a.m. and arrived on the scene six minutes later, according to Geovanni Sanchez of the L.A. County Fire Department. They left the scene by 7:09 a.m., and no one was taken to the hospital.  

Anyone who would like to to provide information anonymously can call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), use a smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website 

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