Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Absconded parolee named prime suspect in slaying of Valley Village woman

September 14, 2010 | 12:23 pm

Parolee A parolee who received an early release from state prison for armed robbery was identified by police detectives Tuesday as the prime suspect in the fatal stabbing of a Valley Village woman whose home was set on fire.

Omar Armando Loera, 34, who served 23 months of a 32-month prison sentence, is wanted in the slaying of Chere Osmanhodzic, 34, whose fiance returned home to the 11500 block of Riverside Drive on July 24 and confronted a stranger, whom he chased down the street for several blocks.

When he returned, the home was ablaze, and firefighters eventually found Osmanhodzic dead inside from multiple stab wounds.

In July, Los Angeles police announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Osmanhodzic's slaying, and released surveillance video they believed showed the suspect.

But it was DNA and other unspecified evidence found at the scene that provided the break in the case, said Lt. Alan Hamilton of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Most recently, Loera served 23 months in connection with the 2008 robbery. He eventually was convicted for carrying a concealed knife and had multiple prior convictions.

Loera was released Feb. 12 from Calapatria state prison and was due to report to a parole agent in Frenso but did not show up.

He was classified as a "parolee at large," meaning he had absconded from his parole officer, authorities said.

Hamilton said it was not immediately clear whether Loera was still in Southern California or had fled to another jurisdiction or country, most likely Mexico.

The reasons for Loera's release and parole status were not immediately available. Detectives said Osmanhodzic's killing appeared to be a random act.

Officials with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said they expect to file charges later Tuesday.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Omar Armando Loera. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department