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Suspect Arrested in Murder of Toy District Hotel Manager

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Hideko Oyama

Hideko Oyama
Police have nabbed and booked a suspect in last week's murder of 74-year-old Hideko Oyama, a manager at the Chetwood Hotel in downtown's Toy District. She was found stabbed to death on January 5th after an apparent robbery. As police began interviewing hotel residents and other possible witnesses, they noticed Jian Hong Li, a 39-year-old Chinese national, had checked out the day of the murder. “As a resident of the hotel, we had wanted to interview Mr. Li, but he had disappeared,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of detectives for downtown, in a statement. “Detectives followed leads from Los Angeles to Camarillo, only to discover him walking on First Street, just east of the Los Angeles River.”

When found and brought back to the police station for questioning, "detectives were able to compare, confirm, and tie forensic evidence to Li’s presence at the crime scene,” continued Vernon. “Once the detectives interviewed Li, they were able to develop enough probable cause to arrest him for the murder.”

Li is being held on $1 million bail and his case will be presented to the D.A.'s office later this week. The case is still active, however, and detectives are still looking for information from the public. In 2009, 83% of homicide cases were closed.