The Los Angeles Police Department held a packed, late-morning press conference today, one day after they arrested a former convict who had been on parole since last August. Charlie Samuel, 50, has been charged with the murder of Lily Burk, 17. Detectives received confirmation Saturday that latent fingerprints collected from Burk's car were those of Samuel, who was supposedly living at a drug treatment center but who, according to an unconfirmed report, may not have been. Police then discovered that Samuel was already in custody.
Detectives believe that Samuel approached Lily at her car and forced her to drive to an ATM so she could withdraw money. Approximately 30 minutes after he allegedly killed Lily, Samuel was picked up by the Metropolitan Division's Mounted Unit for drinking a beer in public and being in possession of a crack pipe. Lily's body was found in the passenger seat of her black Volvo around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, near downtown's Skid Row.
Lily was going into her senior year at North Hollywood's
Oakwood School. Her father, Greg Burk, is a former L.A. Weekly editor and staff writer. She left her Los Feliz home about 2 p.m. Friday to run
an errand for her mother, who is a professor at Southwestern
University School of Law in the Westlake area. She called each of her
parents hours later, asking how she could withdraw cash at an ATM using a credit card.
Police, who believe she was murdered later that day, said that there
were signs of struggle found in the Volvo. Detectives said Lily had
head trauma. The Los Angeles County Coroner has still not ruled on the exact cause of death.