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Valley Village woman's killer at large

July 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Friends and family held a vigil Monday night for a woman suspected of being killed by a man seen running from a burning Valley Village home Saturday night. The body of Chere Osmanhodzic was discovered inside. Her fianc? says he chased the suspect, but couldn't catch him. Police have a composite sketch of that suspect.

The victim's home was surrounded by crime tape Monday afternoon. Osmanhodzic, 34, was murdered on Saturday.

Investigators say it appears a suspect killed Osmanhodzic before setting her body on fire in the bedroom of her home on the 11000 block of Riverside Dr. in Valley Village.

"She was an angel to us," said Osmanhodzic's friend Ivy Belisle at the vigil."She was an amazing woman. We just want to bring her justice."

Detectives say the victim's fianc? told them he returned home Saturday after 7 p.m. from the grocery store and confronted a man inside. He then chased the suspect out of the home and down the street. The suspect got away. The fianc? returned to his home and found it on fire.

"The only thing that I heard that night when I was walking [my dog] at 10 o'clock was that it was just a small fire in this apartment complex," said an unidentified neighbor.

Neighbors now know it was much more than a small fire. Osmanhodzic was found murdered inside. An autopsy was performed on Osmanhodzic, but police did not reveal the murder method, and the cause of the fire was not released. Police suspect she was killed before the fire was set.

Detectives believe the suspect is a 20-year-old Hispanic male, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a stocky build, weighing approximately 190 to 200 pounds. He fled the scene wearing black shorts, a blue shirt and a baseball cap turned backward with the letters "northern" in lowercase.

Detectives have shown the sketch to neighbors, who confirmed seeing a man fitting the description.

"I'd like to catch him but I know everyone in this area, so I know it's someone that has come from outside this area," said neighbor Chris Hobbs.

If you have information related to this case, you're asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department at (877) LAPD-24-7.

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