A suspect has been apprehended following the discovery of partial remains of a woman in a trash bin in Encino, Los Angeles, on Wednesday. Around 6 a.m. (9 a.m. ET) that day, a local man searching for recyclables in a dumpster found the torso of a woman wrapped in plastic in the parking lot of a commercial property. The police arrested 35-year-old Sam Haskell on suspicion of murder later that day at a mall in Topanga.
Though the dismembered body cannot be formally identified, authorities are investigating the disappearance of three individuals who lived with Haskell in a Tarzana residence: his wife Mei Haskell, her 72-year-old father Gaoshan Li, and her 64-year-old mother YanXiang Wang. Three elementary school-aged children residing at the same address were found safe and were placed under the care of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
LAPD Detective Efren Gutierrez, speaking at a news conference, stated, “When the officers responded, they discovered a dismembered female wrapped in a plastic bag. It was just outside the dumpster; they confirmed that it was human remains.”
The police closed off a section of Clearstream Terrace in Tarzana on Wednesday. Gutierrez mentioned that video evidence collected from the scene led them to Haskell’s location.
The investigation began after a call at 5:30 p.m. (8:30 pm ET) on Tuesday, reporting a suspicious bag, possibly containing human remains, in Tarzana. However, when officers initially investigated, nothing was found, and there was no evidence to justify entering the house.
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Gaoshan Li, who drove a white Volkswagen Tiguan typically parked on the street, is missing.