Los Angeles Police have made an arrest for a murder that shocked the city. Last night officers picked up 50-year-old Charlie Samuel, and are holding him on suspicion of murder, for the killing of a teenager.
The body of 17-year-old Lily Burk was found inside her car near the city's Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles early Saturday morning. Police say there were signs of a struggle in the car, and that Burk suffered head trauma. The teen "is believed to have been the victim of a botched robbery," according to a police department statement.
The incoming high school senior left her home at around 2 p.m. Friday, to drive to a law school where her mother works to pick up some papers for her. She called each of her parents an hour later, asking how to use her credit cards to get money from an ATM. It appears there were several attempts to withdraw cash at around that time. She was never heard from again. Police told the Los Angeles Times there is "strong evidence" indicating she was dead by 5 p.m.
Sources also now tell the Times that Burk encountered her killer at the Southwestern School of Law, and that she was abducted from there. It's not clear how the car got to Skid Row, several miles east.
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Her parents told the Times they believe police did not treat her disappearance with sufficient seriousness. "It pains me to contradict a grief-stricken mother," said Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz of the LAPD. "But this case was always taken very seriously."
Talking about their daughter, Deborah Drooz and Greg Burk said in a statement: "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.
"Lily was looking forward to going to college, to being a writer, to what was ahead. She had a really bright future and it was cut short. If there is anything that people can take away from this horrible tragedy, it's that life is fragile and that they should live every minute of it fully."