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Body Of 17-year Old Murder Victim Found In Downtown Los Angeles


On July 26, 2009, at approximately 7:15 p.m., Central Area Detectives booked Charlie Samuel, a male Black from Los Angeles, for the murder of Lily Burk.

Detectives received confirmation Sunday afternoon on latent prints collected from Burk’s car that confirmed that Samuel had been an occupant inside the vehicle.  They then discovered that Samuel was already in custody.
Detectives believe that Burk encountered Samuel in the area of Wilshire Boulevard and Wilshire Place at around 3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, July 24, 2009.  Burk and Samuel then traveled to the downtown area of Los Angeles where Burk made several attempts to get money from an ATM. 

After several unsuccessful attempts, Burk phoned both of her parents to ask how to use her credit card to get money from an ATM.  She was told by her father that the card she had could not be used at an ATM.  Burk then made arrangements with her father to go to their home to pick up an unspecified amount of money.  She never made it home.

Within two hours of that phone call, Samuel drove Burk’s car to 458 South Alameda Street where he abandoned the car with Burk’s body inside and simply walked away.

Approximately thirty minutes later Samuel was detained by Metropolitan Division, Mounted Unit Officers Miguel Dominguez and Gary Copeland  for a Drinking in Public violation near 3rd Street and Los Angeles Street.  During the detention and subsequent search of Samuel, the Officer’s found narcotics paraphernalia in his possession.

Samuel was subsequently arrested and booked for Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia.

Evidence already collected directly links Samuel to this crime.  Detectives continue to develop the case with additional evidence expected to be uncovered.  The motive appears to be robbery. 

Samuel had been in Los Angeles to complete a program he was ordered to participate in as part of his parole conditions for previous crimes.

Los Angeles:    In the early morning hours of July 25, 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department received a call of a young woman’s body in a parked car near Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.  

Around 6:15 am, Los Angeles police officers from Central Area responded to a call of a young woman’s body in a black Volvo parked in a lot at 5th and Alameda.  An employee of a local business was walking past the car saw the body and called police.  The teenager, who has been identified as 17-year old Lily Burk, was found in the passenger side of the car.  Detectives who responded to the scene are investigating Burk’s death as a homicide.

Burke had left her home yesterday afternoon July 24, 2009 shortly before 2:00 pm to deliver some paperwork to the Southwestern University School of Law.  More than an hour later she made two phone calls to each of her parents asking them how to get cash using her credit card at an ATM.  She was not heard from again and her parents reported her missing around 7 pm Friday evening.  Officer’s responded to her parent’s home and a missing person’s report was taken.  

Despite working through the night to locate the missing teenager, she was found deceased hours later in her car.  

Homicide detectives believe Burk was killed early Friday evening.  Inside her car, detectives discovered signs of a struggle.  Burk had head injuries and detectives believe the cause of death to be blunt force trauma.  There was no visible damage to her vehicle.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Central Area Detectives Robert Nelson or Albert Marengo at 213-972-1253.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”  Tipsters may remain anonymous.


Grateful thanks to the men and women of LAPD! Your vigilance and efforts to keep the community safe got this career criminal off the streets before he was even linked to this killing.

It was too late for Lily, but this is a clear example of how you protect us each and every day, 24/7. How many other murders you have actually prevented is incalculable.

It's ironic that it appears that the "system" brought him into the community to participate in a program due to his earlier crimes! How frustrating the system must be for you, who work so hard to apprehend and convict the offenders, only to have them back on the streets so soon!

All I can say is THANK YOU!...and God bless each and every one of you for your dedication.

You are all heroes...Deb

Hmmm a small crime investigated leads to the solving of heinous murder. Seems like somebody owes some body an apology.

It is a good thing this man was caught. Thank you LAPD!!!

It's a shame, but I'm sure we are going to see many more violent crimes like this due to the early release program that the state is doing. God bless you men and women.

For those officers who read this story, this is why it is so important that we always do our job to the best of our ability. You never know when actions taken for a relatively minor incident (coke pipe) may ultimately be linked to solving a major tragedy and help bring those responsible to justice.

Chief McDonnell was late to this very important news conference. He was more concerned about retired officers and the uniform they wear for movie jobs as to be on time for something as important as the arrest of a murderer of a young girl. Where was the Chief? Is it all about making money and travel as opposed to this girl's murder and how her parents must feel?

This is a cautious, very smart Merit Finalist young lady who was outside of the car at some points. I believe another person was involved for her not to escape. she was too smart and apparently lived in LA. She drove a Volvo. Her parents were obviously the kind who were into safety. She would have been prepped for situations such as this. She who Samuele worked with in Riverside. Someone else was there. Does he have a brother? Who took him to Wilshire?

Have the officers checked to see how he got to Wilshire and who picked him up from Skid Row? It seems he did not act alone. She was evidently out of the car several times and could have run unless there were 2 men. It makes more sense if someone was in the back seat and outside of the ATMs. She had been raised to be careful as someone used to being in LA and with cautious parents. Who did he work with in Riverside?

UNBELIEVABLE! It is unfortunate and very heartbroken that this young girl had to lost her life by someone who is a repeat offender or by any other for that matter. The repeat offenders are running rampid and freely through the streets of major cities due to over crowding and early release. There is no where for them in society, they can't get hired because of their criminal history, so when release they go right back to the life of crime they once knew, specially if they already had a drug history that also was not treated. Something needs to be done and PRONTO, every good abiding civilian is a potential victim to the hands of these roaches. The system need to have a submit and how to fix this egregious problem. The releasing because of over crowding or early release should not be an option, obviously it is only agravating the problem instead of fixing it, and as a result inocent civilians perish. The entire system needs to be revised and evaluated.(SMHID)shaking my head in disgust!

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