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Man accused of killing Hollywood family may have stalked mother

April 22, 2010|By Andrew Blankstein

A man arrested in the slaying of a Hollywood family may have been obsessed with one of his victims, according to law enforcement sources.

Alberd Tersargyan of Los Angeles was taken into custody as detectives continue to investigate the mysterious killings. He told authorities he was in his 70s, but police believe he is 59.

He initially was detained on an unrelated charge, but police said they have evidence he is involved in the slaying that shocked the Little Armenia area, law enforcement sources told The Times.

In December 2008, a gunman burst into a Hollywood apartment and shot Khachik Safaryan and his 8-year-old daughter. Safaryan's 12-year-old daughter discovered the bodies later that day.

Eighteen months later, Safaryan's widow, Karine Hakobyan, 38, was found slumped in her car with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, blocks away from the first crime scene. The daughter, once again, discovered the body.

After the killing of her father and sister, the girl drafted -- but never sent -- a letter to President Obama and other leaders, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking for help in solving the case and recounting how the loss changed her family.

"I am hoping that you, Mr. President, will find time to put pressure ... to solve the hideous murder of my beloved sister and father," she wrote. "I still see the bloody bodies of my sister and my father as I found them that day."

The suspect was charged Thursday in connection with Hakobyan's slaying.

LAPD Capt. Kevin McClure said police recovered a weapon.

McClure said police do not yet have a motive in the case, but sources familiar with the investigation say Tersargyan may have been obsessed with Hakobyan and was stalking her.

The family immigrated to the U.S. in 2003. Safaryan worked as a butcher in Hollywood, and his wife worked as a patient-care service aide at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Police have said they have no evidence the victims were involved in criminal activities in Armenia or the U.S.

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