El Segundo is a beautiful beach-side town in Los Angeles County, California. Under towering palm trees and fair skies, residents can be regularly seen riding bikes around town, popping into the many local coffee shops and enjoying the sun. El Segundo is primarily known for its clear, breezy beaches, including El Segundo Beach, Dockweiller Beach and Manhattan Beach. Tourists and locals alike love to swim, scuba, jet ski or sunbathe, and with miles and miles of white sand available, you’re sure to find a little slice of paradise all to yourself. 

Though El Segundo has a population of 16,654 that continues to grow exponentially, the city works hard to retain its distinct small town feel and slower pace of life than nearby Los Angeles. Perhaps this is what draws many young families and retirees to this smaller, vibrant area. There’s always something to keep kids entertained, like visiting the Roundhouse Aquarium, a huge exhibit of exotic marine life. But, there’s also just as much excitement and entertainment for the parents, who love El Segundo’s top-rated restaurants and breweries all around the town center. El Segundo is an amazing place to live, but in 1949, it became the site of a terrible crime that would send shockwaves throughout the entire community and be remembered for years to come. 

Gerald Mason was a drifter and career criminal who had hitchhiked to El Segundo in 1949. On one night, Mason was pulled over in a stolen car by officers Richard Phillips and Milton Curtis of the El Segundo Police Department, right after Mason had assaulted four teenagers. Mason shot Officers Phillips and Curtis and then drove off into the night. The crime scene was particularly brutal, as Curtis was found dead in his car and Phillips lay mortally wounded on the ground, both being shot three times. The investigation would lest for over half a century, and Mason was not connected to the crime until advances in fingerprint DNA put him at the scene in 2003.

Fortunately, total crime rates in El Segundo are relatively low, and more safety measures are being put in place as the population grows. Still, because crime can happen anywhere and to anyone, there is an increased need for crime scene cleanup in cities like El Segundo, California.

What Is a Crime Scene?

A crime scene is typically defined as a tangible location where an illegal offense has been committed. A crime scene can be limited to one room in a residential home, or even span the entirety of a park or public street, depending on the extent of the crime. Once a crime scene is discovered, it falls under law enforcement control immediately and is sealed off to the public. Unfortunately, there is no specific time limit for when the crime scene investigation must be completed. If you are waiting to be let back into the residence where a crime scene occurred, you will need to hear back from law enforcement or the coroner’s office officially first. Although this waiting does delay the cleanup process, it also allows for law enforcement to properly and thoroughly collect all evidence present and accurately analyze the situation 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. Though most people presume that law enforcement handles this task, unfortunately this is usually not the case, and cleanup responsibilities get transferred to residents or loved ones. It is not advised for any one individual to begin cleaning on their own, as many biohazard materials may be left on the scene. The cleanup process should be left to a professional, experienced 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, like a mask or respirator. The company will then begin a series of four steps: cleaning, sanitization, deodorization and restoration. Cleaning involves a thorough sweep of all blood and biological materials present, which must be eliminated immediately for health and safety concerns. Sanitization includes using medical grade sanitization chemicals to eliminate blood-borne pathogens that may not be seen to the naked eye. Deodorization will be enacted in the case that a body remained at a crime scene for several days before its eventual discovery. 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.