“It’s not yet clear whether the wound was the main cause of the 17-year-old’s death. A 50-year-old transient has been arrested in the slaying. Charlie Samuel has a history of violence and drugs.”
The attacker who killed 17-year-old Lily Burk slashed her neck, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s report.
It was unclear from the report if the wound was the main cause of the girl’s death. A spokesman for the coroner’s office could not be reached for comment.
Police said earlier today that fingerprints recovered from inside the car where Burk was found slain match those of a transientThey said Charlie Samuel, 50, encountered the girl near the Southwestern University School of Law on Wilshire Boulevard. Burk had gone to the campus at the old Bullock’s Wilshire building Friday to collect some papers for her mother, an attorney who worked there.
Samuel was arrested at 5:30 p.m. Friday on suspicion of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia on 3rd Street in downtown Los Angeles — at least 12 hours before Burk’s body was discovered nearby in her black Volvo at 5th and Alameda streets. Law enforcement sources said Samuel has a history of violent crime and drug abuse.
“This case strikes close to home for all of us with children,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz. “This is really a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Police said Burk left her Los Feliz home at about 2:30 p.m. Friday to run an errand for her mother. She had gone to the Southwestern University school.
At a press conference, Diaz offered a chronology of what followed:
3 p.m Friday: Samuel allegedly approached Burk at her car, which was parked near the law school at the corner of Wilshire Place, north of 7th Street. Samuel abducted Burk.
3:35 p.m.: Samuel attempted to withdraw money from at least one location in downtown L.A. using Burk’s credit card. But the girl’s credit car was not set up to be used at an ATM.
3:35 to 4 p.m. Burk called both her mother and father, asking how to withdraw money using her credit card. She did not say she was in distress, police said.
4:52 p.m.: Samuel exited the driver’s-side door of Burk’s Volvo at 458 S. Alameda St. in downtown L.A.
5:25 p.m.: LAPD officers saw Samuel on 3rd Street drinking beer and in possession of a crack pipe. He was arrested.
Friday evening: Burk’s parents reported her missing. A missing persons report was filed and detectives began searching for her.
6:15 a.m. Saturday: Burk’s body was found by local workers inside her car at 458 Alameda St. They called 911, and police arrived.
A law enforcement source said Samuel had a previous history of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and kidnapping.
According to law enforcement records, Samuel also had been arrested April 23 on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood on a parole violation.
He listed his occupation to police as a recycler. According to a law enforcement source, Samuel entered a drug treatment program after that arrest. He had been released from state prison in February, where he was serving time after an arrest for petty theft with a prior conviction, law enforcement sources said.
He was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held without bail.
Over the weekend, Burk’s classmates and family friends gathered at a Los Angeles home to mourn her death and remember her life.
“The thing we want people to know about Lily is that she was a beautiful person and that she was looking forward to her life. She was funny, warm, kind and empathetic. She was deeply and widely loved,” read the statement from Deborah Drooz and Gregory Burk, a Times freelancer who writes about pop music.
Burk was supposed to begin her senior year at Oakwood School in North Hollywood in the fall.
She was set to star in her high school’s production of a David Mamet play and planned to volunteer helping the homeless this summer.
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