Police: Slain Girl Crossed Paths With “Monster”

Authorities announced an arrest Monday in the slaying of a 17-year-old girl, whose body was  found in her car near Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.

Police identified the man in custody as Charlie Samuel, of Los Angeles. He is being held without bail at a downtown Los Angeles jail.

The teen "is believed to have been the victim of a botched robbery,"  according to the LAPD statement.

Lily Burk's body was found in the passenger seat of her black Volvo at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday near Alameda and Fourth streets, said Rosario Herrera  of the Los Angeles Police Department. Her death was ruled a homicide, said coroner's investigator Jerry McKibben.

The would-be senior at North Hollywood's Oakwood School left her home in  Los Feliz about 2 p.m. Friday to pick up some papers for her mother, who is a  law professor at Southwestern University School of Law in the Westlake area. Police said Burk was returning to her car, parked on Wilshire Place just north of 7th Street, at about 3 p.m. when she was abducted by Samuel.

Detectives believe she was killed later that day.

Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz said Lily simply crossed paths with "a monster" early Friday afternoon.

"This case strikes close to home for those of us who have children," Diaz said. "It's a parent's worst nightmare. A young child once she starts to get out on her own... through no fault of her own or anyone else crosses paths with one of these monsters."

Diaz said the suspect tried to get Lily to withdraw cash from ATMs, and that Lily called her parents hours after the abduction to ask how to get cash using her credit cards.

Diaz said the credit card was not set up to withdraw cash from ATMs.

"She didn't tell them that she was in distress," Diaz said. "The subject of those calls was her attempt to obtain cash."

Samuel left the Volvo, with Lily's body in the passenger seat, in a downtown LA parking lot at about 5 p.m.

Diaz said Samuel was found about 25 minutes later on 3rd Street in downtown Los Angeles. He said the man was drinking a beer and in possession of a cocaine pipe. He was arrested for possession of narcotics paraphernalia.

At about 6:15 a.m., Saturday, a business employee notified police that there was a girl's body in a car parked in a nearby lot. Signs of a struggle were found in the Volvo, and detectives said the girl had head trauma.

Diaz said investigators found fingerprints that matched Samuels inside the vehicle.

No cause of death was given, pending an autopsy.

Her parents released a statement saying she was a beautiful person.

"The thing we want people to know about Lily is that she was a  beautiful person and that  she was looking forward to her life," Deborah Drooz and Greg Burk said in the  statement. "She was funny, warm, kind and empathetic. She was deeply and  widely loved.

"Lily was looking forward to going to college, to being a writer, to  what was ahead. 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."

Anyone with information about her death was asked to call 213-485-3294.

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