El Monte, California historically known as “The End of the Sante Fe Trail,” is a residential and commercial city in San Gabriel Valley. Home to 113,475 people as of the 2010 census, El Monte is an incredibly racially-diverse area, with 69% of the population identifying as hispanic or latino. El Monte is also known for its beautiful natural scenery, especially at the Whittier Nature Center, with 400 acres of untouched wilderness. In addition, El Monte residents love the close sense of community and booming city center. Several trade and professional colleges are also located here, providing a sustainable workforce source for local businesses. El Monte is expected to continue growing exponentially in the coming years. But in 1958, a brutal crime rocked the city of El Monte and would leave a lasting impact on California crime and homicide investigation for years to come. 

Murder of Jean Ellroy

Jean Ellroy was a staff nurse working in Los Angeles but living in nearby El Monte back in 1958. On June 22, her son came home to policemen and crime tape in his yard. Law enforcement broke the news that his mother had been brutally raped and murdered. She had been strangled with a cotton cord and one of her stockings. Evidence was strewn everywhere, her clothes were covered in blood and there were multiple lacerations on her body. Unfortunately, Ellroy’s murder has never been solved, despite desperate attempts from her son, James Ellroy, to tell his mother’s story and garner publicity. The El Monte Police Department continues to search for leads, and the crime remains one of the longest-running cold cases in the city.

Unfortunately, though El Monte is a relatively safe area, crime can happen anywhere and to anyone. This necessitates the need for an experienced, professional crime scene cleanup company that can assist in times of need.

What Is a Crime Scene?

Not all crime scenes are the same. A crime scene is typically defined as a tangible location where an illegal offense has been committed. Crime scenes can look very different, too. If a crime scene occurs in a residential home or living space, it may be contained to one room or spread throughout the entire home. Crimes scenes can also occur in public areas, like on a city street or wooded area that is particularly unfrequented. But, once a crime scene is discovered, it falls under law enforcement control immediately. This can be difficult for family members eager to understand what happened to their loved one, but is ultimately the best course of action. Unfortunately, there is no specific time limit for when the crime scene investigation must be completed. If you have been displaced from your residence due to a crime scene investigation, you will need to hear back from law enforcement or the coroner’s office with an official declaration before you can resume living there. Although crime scene investigation does delay the post-cleanup process, it ultimately lets law enforcement thoroughly collect all the evidence present for analyzation. This provides the most accurate understanding of both the situation and the victim’s last movements without public interference.

Cleaning up a Crime Scene

Discovering a crime scene is a truly horrific experience for anyone, and can have a lasting, traumatic effect on the deceased person’s loved ones. 

In order to begin the investigation and start the healing process, the crime scene must be cleaned. But, it is a common misconception that a city agency or law enforcement will handle this task. After law enforcement finishes crime scene investigation, they no longer hold responsibility over it, and cleanup is transferred to the deceased’s family members. And, because most individuals have never been exposed to a crime scene, they have no idea where to start or how they’ll clean the many biohazard materials leftover. For these reasons, the cleanup process should be left to a professional company with the proper knowledge, materials and care to enact the job correctly. The company should also be duly registered with the state of California, as it is otherwise illegal to operate.

As a first step, a crime scene cleanup company will arrive with the right personal protective equipment, or PPE. PPE includes gloves, goggles and proper mouth protection. The company will then enact four steps: cleaning, sanitization, deodorization (if needed) and restoration. Cleaning involves eliminating all blood and biological materials present, which must be removed immediately for health and safety concerns. Sanitization includes using medical grade sanitization chemicals to eliminate blood-borne pathogens that may invisible on the surface. Deodorization will occur if the body was left at the scene for several days before being discovered. Lastly, the company will restore the area back to its original condition as closely as possible. This will return the area to a livable space and also help the extensive healing process to begin. Above all, a professional crime scene cleanup company should act with sensitivity and care through what is an extremely difficult grieving process for family members.

Paying for crime scene cleanup

There are several costs associated with cleaning up a crime scene that vary according to the extent of the task. If a crime was particularly violent or spread out across multiple rooms, it may take longer to clean and require stronger materials. The average rate for a one-room crime scene cleanup usually ranges from $1000 to $2500, but Eco Bear is committed to providing the most comprehensive crime scene cleanup at a reasonable rate. Eco Bear’s rates are $250 per hour, per technician. There is a charge of $200 for each red biohazard waste bin needed for a particular cleanup.