Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the identities of the missing individuals.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WJW) — Los Angeles police homicide detectives have announced an arrest in connection with the discovery of a woman’s torso in a dumpster in Encino Wednesday morning.
At a press conference late Wednesday night, officials said Samuel Haskell, 35, was arrested at the Topanga Mall and charged with one count of murder.
While authorities believe the torso found in the bag is Haskell’s wife, Mei Haskell, they said partial remains are harder to positively identify.
“If a murder suspect is dismembering a body, it’s to delay identification,” said LAPD homicide detective Efren Guttierez.
They also said they are looking for Haskell’s in-laws, Gaoshan Li, 72, and YanXiang Wang, 64, who lived together at their Tarzana home in the 4100 block of Coldstream Terrace.
The investigation began Tuesday at around 7:30 p.m. when, according to police, someone reported seeing body parts in a bag outside the home. When authorities went to investigate, the bags were gone.
On Wednesday morning at about 6:15 a.m., a homeless man scavenging for recyclables discovered the woman’s remains in the dumpster in a parking lot near Ventura Boulevard and Rubio Avenue, roughly five miles away from the home on Coldstream Terrace.
Later in the day, detectives returned to Haskell’s home and were seen going in and out of the residence, eventually confirming that the home was linked to the torso found in the dumpster.
Police believe the woman was killed sometime within the past few days. Investigators are still soliciting tips and hoping surveillance video will shed more light on the investigation.
Haskell is being held at the Valley Jail in Van Nuys on $2 million bail.