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Slaying of Mother, Infant in Highland Park Baffles Detectives

February 27, 1986|JOHN C. BRAZINGTON | Times Staff Writer

Police said Wednesday that they have no suspects in the murders of a Cambodian immigrant woman and her 21-month-old baby last weekend in Highland Park. The two were found slashed to death in their apartment at 4909 Oak Terrace Drive.

The woman, Hang Tang, 28, and her daughter, Margaret Chea, were found in their home Saturday night by Hang Tang's husband, who is not a suspect, police said. A 4-month-old daughter was unharmed.

Detective Roy Goebel said the two were killed with "an unknown cutting instrument." Goebel said that some items were missing from the apartment but that there were no signs of forced entry and no weapon was found.

In an interview translated by a neighbor, the victim's husband, Huon Chea, said he found his wife and daughter lying in the living room of their home after he returned from a shopping trip. He said that he had no idea why the killings took place and that he had had no problems with anyone in the community.

Goebel said Huon Chea, who was a teacher in Cambodia, works in Los Angeles' downtown garment district. The couple had emigrated to the United States six years ago. Huon Chea said he has been unable to eat or sleep since the killings.

Police were analyzing a trail of blood found along the cement leading up to and around an adjacent apartment building. Goebel said he is not sure if the blood has anything to do with the murders.

Three families who live in apartments at 4907, 4911 and 4913 Oak Terrace Drive have left their homes because of the murders, said Maria Vasques, a neighbor who stayed. Vasques discovered the trail of blood stains.

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