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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional

5 Held in Slaying of College Student From El Monte

March 03, 2000

IRVINE — Four more people, including a man picked up in New York, have been arrested in connection with the death of a college student whose body was found in the trunk of a charred car, police said Thursday.

Arrested were Sonny Wong, 22, of La Puente; Lim Cheng, 22, of Alhambra, who is in Los Angeles County Jail on drug charges; and two teenagers--a 16-year-old from El Monte and a 17-year-old from Rosemead.

The arrests, made over several days since Feb. 24, follow the death of Yichen "Eric" Liu of El Monte, a 20-year-old Rio Hondo College student whose remains were found Jan. 24, said Irvine Police Lt. Sam Allevato.

Already charged in the case is Helen Mo, 18, of Monterey Park, also a student at Rio Hondo, authorities said.

Allevato said earlier that the crime stemmed from a dispute over personal property. Investigators have released no further details.

All five suspects are being held without bail, officials said, and will be arraigned in Orange County over the next several weeks.

The county district attorney's office may try the juvenile suspects as adults, police said Thursday. If convicted on charges of murder with special circumstances of torture, kidnapping or premeditation, all the suspects would be eligible for the death penalty, officials said.

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