Victor Manuel Moreno

Victor Manuel Moreno was found dead on March 31 in a suitcase left in the Verdugo wash in Glendale. (Courtesy of Lori Rosado / April 9, 2014)

The family of a 21-year-old San Pedro man who was found dead inside a suitcase in Glendale is trying to raise funds to help pay for his funeral costs.

It has been more than a week since Victor Manuel Moreno was discovered March 31 in the Verdugo wash near Glorietta and Woodland avenues in Glendale, but police still don’t have any answers for his death.

The news of the grim discovery was alarming to Moreno’s mother, who had reported him missing to local police just days before, said his aunt, Lori Rosado.

Desperate for answers about his disappearance, she visited the local police station only to have her worst fears confirmed: the thin body inside the suitcase was her son, Victor.

“No family, no mother could prepare for this,” Rosado said.

Moreno’s unexpected and devastating death has left his family heartbroken. Even more so, they are hurt by the manner in which he was found.

“He has a family,” she said. “He had people that loved him. He was somebody to us. No one deserves this. No one deserves to go this way.”

He occasionally came and went from his home and visited friends’ homes, she said. But this time, his absence was different and longer than usual.

“It wasn’t like him,” said his sister, Melissa Moreno.

Victor Moreno was one of five siblings, but he often stood out for his ability to make those around him smile with his impromptu singing and dancing.

His sister recalled that he used his singing and dancing skills to wake her up every morning.

Victor Moreno, who was described as always having a big smile, was a free spirit with ambitions of becoming a hairdresser and briefly attended Marinello Schools of Beauty.

He also wasn’t shy about fixing his aunt’s hair or applying someone’s makeup.

He was affectionate and had a big heart, which allowed him to trust anyone, his sister said.

It wasn’t unusual for people to stop him on the street to greet him.

“Everybody loved him,” she said.

His family also doesn’t know what could have led to his death. But they hope to gather $1,500 to hold a proper funeral for him.

Detectives believe the suitcase was likely dumped just below a Glorietta Avenue bridge, which is above the wash, sometime Sunday night or early Monday.

He had no obvious signs of trauma to his body to indicate a cause of death, so police are waiting for toxicology reports.

Still, family members said they need answers and the public’s help.

Anyone interested in donating funds to help Victor Moreno’s family pay for his funeral can visit youcaring.com.

Anyone with information about Moreno’s death or the suitcase is asked to call the Glendale Police Department at (818) 548-3987 or Glendale Crime Stoppers at (818) 507-7867.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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