The victim was identified Tuesday as Pamela Fayed, a 45-year-old mother of two young daughters. She lived in a Camarillo neighborhood and ran an Internet gold trading company.
L.A. police say she was stabbed in the neck by an assailant on the third-floor level of a Century City parking structure that serves the Watt Plaza Office Tower in Century Park East Monday night.
Witnesses say they heard her screams, and when they rushed to help, they found her between two cars lying in a pool of blood.
"It sounded awful. There were really shrill screams of 'Help, help, help, help, oh my god, help,' and then almost like a sound of disbelief, and then we saw everybody running over," said eyewitness Pearl Wimler.
Fayed was rushed to a local hospital, where she died about an hour later, police said.
Tuesday, neighbors in Camarillo expressed their shock. Mike Nelson, who lives next door, said Fayed was in the middle of a bitter divorce from her husband, James Fayed. Nelson said three months ago, she asked him to find her an armed bodyguard.
"She needed somebody within the hour," said Nelson. "She wanted a bodyguard with a gun out here within an hour, somebody professional. She was very concerned for her life that day and she mentioned it all the time. It was like an ongoing thing. Every time we talked, she was afraid that he was going to kill her."
Detectives say the crime did not look like a random act of violence, and Fayed may have been targeted.
"Our suspect is being described as a male, slender build, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans," said LAPD Lt. Katarina Thomas.
Neighbors say that James Fayed's threats against his wife increased about three months ago when Pamela Fayed and her attorney seized some of his assets in their ongoing divorce case.
Police won't say whether or not James Fayed is a suspect in his wife's murder.
Police said the suspect may have been wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans and may have driven off in a red SUV.
Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD (877) LAW-FULL or (877) 529-3855.