The outbreak is recorded by Octavio and Rosa Melgar, owners of a local carneceria that doubled as their home. At about one forty-five AM, the couple was awoken to the sounds of frantic cries beneath their window. Fearing their store was being looted, Rosa called the cops while Octavio raced downstairs with his pistol. What he found was a Department of Sanitation worker who was caked in sewage, had his overalls torn to shreds, and his right foot bitten clean off. Screaming for Octavio to shut the manhole, the bewildered store owner reluctantly complied, evidentially right before the zeds could climb up after them. As Rosa did her best to dress the man’s wound, he jabbered about how he and five other sanitation workers were inspecting a storm drain junction when they were attacked by a bunch of “crazies”. He described the attacked as covered in rags and wounds, moaning, and moving with a slow, methodical limp. After that, the man (who is still unidentified), slipped into a completely unintelligible babble before passing out. The police and paramedics would arrive roughly an hour and a half later, and, by this time, the man was pronounced as dead. Octavio took the the liberty of informing the police of the moaning he heard just before he shut the manhole, and, while the cops noted this, they didn’t say anything else about it.
However, the next morning, the Melgars saw a startling news report where the ambulance that took the dead man crashed and exploded on the way to the county hospital, and that the last-known radio transmission consisted of intense scuffling and personal screaming at the “dead man” literally tearing his way out of the body bag (how the station obtained the transmission is a mystery unto itself). Roughly half an hour after the report, about four police trucks, an ambulance, and a national guard truck pulled up to the Melgars carneceria, and the couple (along with a small crowd of onlookers) could only gawk as the LAPD sealed off the area and pitched a olive drab green tent over the manhole, with an identical cover running from the tent to the truck. In the matter of an hour, the tent was snapped back up again, and the force tore off (during which time an unknown number of men presumably moved into the sewars, eliminated all zombies there, and carried out the bodies). As with most modern outbreaks, there was a pretty healthy coverup – the Melgars didn’t make any further inquiries (for “personal legal reasons”), the LAPD explained it was a “routine health and maintenance inspection”, and the LA Department of Sanitation denied the loss of any employees.