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Suspected Murderer of Teenage Girl Arrested for Different Crime

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View Lily Burk Murder in a larger map. Source: LAPD and LA Times Timeline

About 30 minutes after Charlie Samuel allegedly killed 17-year-old Lily Burk Friday, leaving her body in her car parked off a Skid Row street, he was detained by police a few blocks away for a Drinking in Public violation. As he was being searched by officers, narcotics paraphernalia was found and he was arrested and booked for Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia.

Burk had left her Los Feliz family home shortly before 2 p.m. that day on an errand for her mother to Southwestern University. About an hour later, police believe she was abducted in her Black Volvo, presumably for robbery, by Charlie Samuel, a 50-year-old parolee in town to complete a program related to previous programs.

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After several unsuccessful attempts, Burk twice phoned her parents between 3:30 and 4 p.m. to ask how to use her credit card to get money from an ATM. She was told by her father that the card she had could not be used at an ATM, but they made arrangements to go to their home to pick up an unspecified amount of money. She never made it home.

Around 7 p.m., her parents made a missing persons report, a couple hours after Samuel was arrested on the streets. Burk's body was reported to police the next morning around 6:15 a.m. and she apparently died from blunt force trauma shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday. Fingerprints inside the car led to Samuel, who was already in custody where he was charged with murder.

“Lily was looking forward to going to college, to being a writer, to what was ahead,” her parents said in the statement published in the LA Times. “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.”