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Elderly man arrested in slaying of family in Little Armenia

April 22, 2010 | 11:43 am

A man walks through the building in Hollywood where Karine Hakobyan was found shot to death in her car. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

A man in his 70s has been arrested in connection with the slaying of three members of a Hollywood family, including an 8-year-old girl.

An undated family photo shows Karine Hakobyan. Credit: Associated Press The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was initially detained on an unrelated charge but police said they have evidence he is involved in the slaying that shocked the Little Armenia area, law enforcement sources told The Times.

In December 2008, a gunman burst into a Hollywood apartment and shot Khachik Safaryan and his 8-year-old daughter. Safaryan's 12-year-old daughter discovered the bodies later that day.

Eighteen months later, Safaryan's widow, Karine Hakobyan, 38, was found slumped in her car with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, blocks away from the first crime scene. The daughter, once again, discovered the body.

Several months later, the girl drafted -- but never sent -- a letter to President Obama and other leaders, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking for help in solving the case, recounting how the loss changed her family.

"I am hoping that you, Mr. President, will find time to put pressure ... to solve the hideous murder of my beloved sister and father," she wrote. "I still see the bloody bodies of my sister and my father as I found them that day."

The family immigrated to the U.S. in 2003. Safaryan worked as a butcher in Hollywood, and his wife worked as a patient-care service aide at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Police have said they have no evidence the victims were involved in criminal activities in Armenia or the U.S.

-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton


Upper photo: A man walks through the building in Hollywood where Karine Hakobyan was found shot to death in her car. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

Lower photo: A family photo of Karine Hakobyan. Credit: Associated Press

RELATED:

L.A. police probe third murder in one Armenian family

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