A California man has been arrested in connection with the discovery of a woman’s torso found in a dumpster, according to authorities.
On Wednesday night, Los Angeles police announced the arrest of 35-year-old Samuel Haskell of Tarzana, California. He was arrested at the Topanga Mall and charged with one count of murder.
Haskell is being detained at the Valley Jail in Van Nuys on $2 million bail.
At around 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday, a homeless man was scavenging for recyclables when he reportedly discovered human remains in a dumpster. The dismembered female torso was found in Encino — roughly five miles from Haskell’s home.
KTLA reported, “The investigation began Tuesday at around 7:30 p.m. when, according to police, someone reported seeing body parts in a bag outside the home. When authorities went to investigate, the bags were gone.”
Haskell’s wife and parents were reported missing before the grisly discovery.
LAPD detectives said Haskell’s wife, Mei Le Haskell, 37, and her parents Gaoshan Lee, 72, and Yanxiang Wang, 64, are all still missing. Also reportedly missing is the family’s white Volkswagen Tiguan.
The couple’s three elementary-aged children were located at school on Wednesday and are now in the custody of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
According to KCAL, investigators found blood evidence in the Tarzana home but did not offer any other details.
Investigators believe that the woman’s torso had been in the dumpster for no more than two days. The human remains have not yet been identified.
“Typically if someone, a murder suspect, is dismembering a body it’s to delay identification,” said LAPD Detective Efren Gutierrez. “So, that by implication would mean that they may have been known to each other.”
Police reportedly have video evidence from near the dumpster that allegedly connects Haskell to the crime scene.
Anyone with additional information on the human remains or missing family members are urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division at (213) 486-6890.
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