A man arrested after the partially dismembered remains of a woman were discovered in Encino was charged Monday with three counts of murder and made an initial appearance in court in downtown Los Angeles.
Samuel Bond Haskell, 35, was ordered held with no bail.
The criminal complaint, filed mid-day Monday, accused Haskell of murdering his wife, Mei Haskell, and her parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshan Li. All three family members remained unaccounted for.
Haskell was arrested last Wednesday and booked on suspicion of murder, after the partially-dismembered remains of a woman were found in a trash bin in Encino.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said Monday that the remains had yet to be identified, and were still considered an unidentified “Doe” case.
The afternoon before his arrest, three day laborers told the NBC4 I-Team that a man they later identified as Haskell had hired them to move bags of rocks.
“When we picked up the bags, we could tell they weren’t rocks,” one of the workers said in Spanish. He did not want to be identified.
The men described the bags as soft and soggy, each weighing about 50 pounds.
They said something didn’t feel right, so they stopped their truck a block away to look inside the bags.
“I started seeing body parts, a belly button,” the worker said. “I was astonished. Of course, I felt bad. We had been tricked.”
The men reported what they’d found to police, but officers dispatched to the Haskell home in the Tarzana hills could not find evidence of a murder or other crime, several law enforcement sources told the I-Team.
The woman’s remains were discovered the following morning in a trash bin located in the parking lot of a strip mall at the north east corner of Ventura Boulevard and Rubio Avenue.
They were contained in a trash bag that exactly matched a unique description given to police, the sources said.
Within an hour of the discovery officers returned to the Haskell home on Coldstream Terrance, a search warrant was obtained and the house was searched.
The sources told the I-Team there was a lot of evidence found inside that suggested at least two rooms inside had been the scene of a murder.
On Friday, LAPD detectives from the Robbery Homicide Division returned to the Encino neighborhood where the remains were found to search for additional evidence.
Detectives were assisted by a cadaver-sniffing dog from the LA City Fire Department as they prodded trash in cans and bins up and down alleys near to the discovery scene.
Friends of the Haskell family identified a 4th-floor office Samuel Haskell has used in a building at the corner of Hayvenhurst Avenue and Ventura Boulevard, from which the bin where the body was discovered can be seen.
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Source: NBC Los Angeles