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Man arrested in stabbing death of downtown L.A. hotel manager

January 13, 2010 |  9:20 am

Police said today they have arrested a suspect in the stabbing death of Hideko Oyama, a 74-year-old hotel manager found dead in her downtown L.A. building.

Jian Hong Li, a 39-year-old Chinese national who lived in the Chetwood Hotel, was taken into custody Tuesday on suspicion of murder. He is being held in jail in lieu of $1 million bond, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Investigators said the motive for the stabbing was robbery. Li, who had abandoned his room the day of the murder, became a person of interest for investigators.

“As a resident of the hotel, we had wanted to interview Mr. Li, but he had disappeared,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the downtown detective division. “Detectives followed leads from Los Angeles to Camarillo, only to discover him walking on 1st Street, just east of the Los Angeles River.”

Investigators said items that pointed to a possible connection to the crime were found in Li's room, but details were not released.

“Once the detectives interviewed Li, they were able to develop enough probable cause to arrest him for murder,” Vernon said.

The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, he added.

-- Ruben Vives

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