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Arrest made in slaying of Lily Burk

LILY2 Los Angeles police detectives have arrested a 50-year-old man in the slaying of Lily Burk, 17. 

Burk's body was found about 6 a.m. Saturday in the passenger seat of her black Volvo on the fringe of downtown Los Angeles near Alameda and 5th streets. The car was parked in a lot surrounded by warehouses and lofts. Investigators said it appeared she had died from blunt force trauma and there were signs of a struggle inside the car.

Sgt. Miguel Arana of the Los Angeles Police Department said over the weekend that Burk appeared to have head injuries after apparently striking the windshield. Authorities have been investigating the death as a homicide. Police said that after Burk left home Friday, she made at least two calls to her parents asking how to get cash from an ATM using her credit card.

Police announced the arrest of Charlie Samuel, who was booked on murder charges and is being held without bail.

A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. today.

Burk was set to star in her high school's production of David Mamet's "The Boston Marriage" and planned to volunteer helping the homeless this summer.

Her parents said she left Friday afternoon to pick up exams for her mother, an attorney and an adjunct professor at Southwestern University School of Law on Wilshire Boulevard. She picked up the papers, but more than an hour later, she made separate calls to each of her parents asking about her credit card.

Her father said she seemed in a rush but not frightened, and she indicated that she needed money to buy shoes. Both parents said they told their daughter to come home.

They grew worried when she didn't come back by 5 p.m.

"Lily was looking forward to going to college, to being a writer, to what was ahead," her parents said in the statement. "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."

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

Photo: Lily Burk. Credit: Family photo

More on the Lily Burk case:

Lily Burk encountered suspect near law school, sources tell The Times

Suspect in Lily Burk's slaying has history of violent crimes, drug problems

Friends and family mourn Lily Burk

Girl, 17, found dead in downtown L.A.

Comments () | Archives (56)

Amazingly fast work by LAPD.

Death is too good for this guy. I'm sick that we accept crime as normal. It is not normal. How long before his lawyers start telling us what a pathetic childhood he had.

My heart is broken for Lily's family. The picture of her just kills me. To have your nearly grown daughter's life stolen from her would be too much to bare.
Sending strength and peace vibes.

I pray that the Lord is with this family and he has embraced Lily in heaven. I pray that ht eman who did this is convicted, repent and is saved unto Jesus to live a life worthy of human dignity and turn his death of his soul to life to help and serve others.

I ask for Jesus to put the balm of Gilead upon Lily's familys' hearts and to console them with His peace and understanding and speak always to them.

I'm probably displaying my ignorance but should I immediately recognize the name Lily Burk?

It does a disservice to the African American community when the LA Times refuses to print the race of a suspected criminal. On a number of occasions, I've later found that a suspect was white when the assumption is that he's black because of this politically correct policy. They tell us a suspect's sex (is that sexist?), age (ageism?), etc. but consciously leave out their race.

Terrible tragedy, I feel for the parents, like them i have one child and couldn't imagine if anything happened to her. Sounds like a botched robbery after she went to an ATM for the first time and must have been seen and followed.

But hearing how she was "an Oakwood school student" and in her school play etc. while we don't hear about all the other kids including small children shot this weekend makes it sound like she only matters because her parents could afford a very expensive private school.

Made necessary because public high schools are so horrible in L A. that kids fall into 2 opposite extremes: "the very privileged with a great future and exposed to school plays and community service for the poor" vs. "those relegated to the dangerous places in L A called L A high schools."

Where the only white kids like Lily -- e.g., they're 7% of Fairfax High, most of them Russian immigrants, 10% at Uni, typically, with barely over half graduation rates -- face a very different future, a very different sort of school life.

As mature for her age as this teenager was, why her mother had her drive from Los Feliz to Wilshire Blvd. on a Friday (peek traffic) to pick up exams for her is beyond me. Hindsight is 20/20, but I feel that "if there is a lesson to be learned" from all of this (as the parents said) it is not so much to live life to the fullest (as this young girl obviously did), but rather, to watch and safeguard your children; not grant unchaparoned driving privileges to them at such a young age (in expensive cars, no less--& to places like Coachella, as the previous article mentioned) and to spend more time with your children.

That phone call for access to money for shoes was so clearly not part of this girl's sensibility, that the mother should have called police AS SOON AS she received the call from her daughter. To say "come home instead" as opposed to, "darling, are you in trouble? if yes, say 'mother' if no say 'father' or something like that, was negligent on mother's part.

Yes, life is fragile. But sending your kid downtown to pick up your exams is selfish and irresponsible. Mom's simply not owning up to her negligence.

that's really sad...horrible for anyone to put their own short-term needs ahead of another's entire life....back in the day they'd let him rot in a cage lifted up outside the town walls as a warning to others

This story breaks my heart. It is my greatest hope that the police get the guy who did this and no one else.

I am truly sorry for the loss of your daughter. I will always remember your parting words about living life. I am an artist also, so we all lost a future creator of art and beauty.
Love, peace

There is one sentence on this guy Charlie Samuel. Who is he? Is he homeless? Is he a sexual predator, etc,?

VERY sad :(
Sounds like she was an amazing girl!

If this man is proven to be guilty he should be killed immediately. Don't waste taxpayer's money on his incarceration. I feel so sorry for her family and friends. It sounds like she was a wonderful daughter and person.

The above poster's comment ("Laurel") is pretty offensive -- I'm not sure you want to be blaming a dead girl's blameless mother for this awful crime. This could have happened anywhere, at any time -- on the way to school, driving down the block, whether at "peek" traffic or not.

If something this awful had happened to your only child, I doubt you'd want anonymous people gawking from the Internet peanut gallery, laying blame at your feet for your child's brutal murder. Have some respect. I'm sure Lily's family can do without your tone-deaf armchair parenting.

Laurel, you are an overprotective bottom-feeder. To put the blame squarely on the mother not a week after her daughter's murder is pathetic. This could have happened to anyone - there is no amount of paranoid planning that can protect anyone from every possible thing. Get a life and leave this poor family alone to mourn without your heartless preaching.

To say that it was irresponsible to send a 17-year-old to pick up paperwork, as one of those commenting did, is itself absurd. The death toll among teens sent on such errands is low; this is a horrible and unusual crime.

The parents need to be able to do a home funeral for her and touch her body. Having a look at her after a mortician has gotten a hold of her isn't enough. They need to be able to take her body a home and care for her BE with their child. Their pain is greater because they cannot do this. The physical emptiness that they suffer inflames the emotional emptiness they suffer.

Laurel - keep your pathetic parental views to yourself.

Laurel, I think it is highly inappropriate for you to be pronouncing judgment on a grieving mother like that! Have a heart!!! How would you feel if it were YOUR child who died and you had to look in the paper and see the kind of mean and insensitive stuff being said about you?

My heart goes out to the parents and the community for the loss of Lily who was a bright light.

I think everyone needs to take some breaths and step back.

Please don't make this a racial issue. Dead is dead. It doesn't matter if the suspect is black or white.

Also, we all know white wealthy deaths get bigger press coverage than poor Latino or black ones do. It's just the way it it.

No doubt this guy they arrested was another Poverty Pimp/CDCR Prison rehabilitated felon success story.

My sincere condolences to the family -- a terrible loss.

My comment positive comments regarding the parents were not printed and yet negative and racist ones were. Curious.

It's so sad. I'm just a 31yr old, but feel like a 50yr old parent when other people's kid's die. Real sad.

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