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Cause Of Death Continues 'Deferred' On Vladimir Carretero With L.A. County Coroner
By Lonce LaMon - July 3, 2009

Vladimir Carretero, a well known workers' compensation claims adjuster for the past nine years, who had started in claims as a claims assistant in the mid-90s in Southern California, died on June 2, 2009 of what was first described as an "apparent" heart attack. 

But, in the wake of his death, rumors flew like wildfire and suspicions ignited as tales of two tempestuous marriages unfolded.  His latest marriage, to a Gloria Grotticelli, had a marriage certificate from Clark County in Nevada dated April 28, 2009, behind it, but was stated by the L.A. County Coroner's office not to appear to have been certified officially or officially recorded.

A previous marriage, to a Carol Salazar, also reported by one of Vladimir's close friends to have been extremely tempestuous, was not certain to have been legally terminated.  Thus, the rumors of a possible bigamous marriage swirled, along with the coroner's investigation department getting barraged with phone calls from people claiming to be legal next of kin.

There have also been rumors of possible foul play--fingers have pointed--to the most recent wife, Gloria, and the daughter of Gloria and that daughter's boyfriend who allegedly beat Vladimir physically over the Memorial Day weekend, just over a week before Vladimir died. According to hearsay, Vladimir went to work at ESIS in Chatsworth the Monday after the Memorial Day weekend with bruises. 

On July 1st 2009, Coroner's Investigator, Ed Winter, told this writer, "There are pages and pages of case notes here--about who's the legal next of kin." 

On June 25th, I called the Los Angeles County Coroner's office in the late afternoon, but was placed on hold for over fifteen minutes.  I finally gave up, hung up, and dialed back.  My call again was answered by a person who abruptly demanded, "Would you please hold..."  I had no idea that Michael Jackson had just died and that his body had just arrived to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Department!  Here I was calling about Vladimir and had no idea that the place was being jammed and besieged by people wanting information about the death of Michael Jackson.   Well, I figured it out by early morning and even the next day, June 26th, I could not get anybody at the L.A. County Coroner's office to talk to me about Vladimir.

Each time I have called since then, which has been three times, the individual answering the phone has said, "You're calling about Michael Jackson, right?"  And I have replied, "No, I am calling about Vladimir Gaston Carretero."  They were probably thinking, who the heck is that, not assuming that reporters can concern themselves about the death of somebody other than Michael Jackson. 

With all these suggestions of possible homicide and foul play in the untimely death of Vladimir, I decided to ask Ed Winter, the Coroner's Assistant Chief Investigator, if the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating a possible homicide. He said, while skimming the notes in the file, "Police report reviewed.  Sun Valley.  LAPD." And he gave me the phone number.

So, I called the number and my call was answered by a Detective Karraker.  After I gave her Vladimir's name, she stated, "No Police Report."  I asked her what she meant, and she sort of repeated, "No Police Report with anyone by that name."  She then went on to state, "This is a Coroner's case.  Depending on the circumstances, they would call us for an investigation. If at any time they decided it was a possible homicide, they would get ahold of us at a later date. And we'd make a report at that time.  There's not always a Police Report.  Only if it's a homicide."

I pressed further, hoping I wasn't being too annoying.  Detective Karraker continued, "I am looking at all reports for that time period, and I don't have any reports under that name."

So, it's clear from Karraker's statements that homicide is not being investigated at this time.  But, the cause of Vlad's death with the L.A. County Coroner's office is still on "deferred" status, which makes the mystery of his death linger.

Plenty of people have stormy relationships, and yes, people, especially men, can engage in fist fights.  And then individuals can die, and the physical fights and the tempests may not be the cause of death. But, who knows?...  People can die naturally or by murder or manslaugter during a stormy marriage or in a bigamous one or in an amicable one.  There are many possibilities.  

So, the mystery of the cause of Vladimir Carretero's death continues.

Readers may write to writer, Lonce LaMon, at



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