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Arrest made in slaying of Lily Burk

July 27, 2009 |  6:40 am

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.