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Valley Village murder suspect ID'd by DNA

September 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police on Tuesday named a suspect in the killing of a Valley Village woman whose body was found in her burned-out home in July.Detectives with the LAPD North Hollywood Station said during a news conference on Tuesday that they are looking for 34-year-old Omar Armando Loera. He was identified as the sole suspect in the murder through DNA left at the crime scene.

Firefighters found Chere Osmanhodzic's body in her burning apartment on the 11500 block of West Riverside Drive on July 24. Investigators believe the fire was set to cover up her murder.

"Now is the time we need to band together as a community, as a city, as one family, to make sure that this suspect is brought in, and that we can finally achieve justice," said L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian during Tueday's news conference.

Loera was described as a heavily tattooed transient who has a criminal history. Loera has served time for crimes such as transporting marijuana, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, and robbery with a knife.

"We sent it to our lab, our scientific investigation division, then obtained enough of a sample in order to obtain a DNA profile that was uploaded into our state's database, CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), and we were able to conclusively get a match," said LAPD Lt. Alan Hamilton.

Officials warned that anyone who is helping Loera hide will be arrested.

Osmanhodzic was to be married a few months from the date of her murder. Her parents pleaded with the public to help find Loera.

"She was getting married in a couple weeks, on the 9th of October. And I was going to give her away. But what do we do? We bury her," said Mike Cameron, Osmanhodzic's father.

"Please call and do whatever you have to to get this person. He has just devastated my life. He's just changed it completely. It was a brutal murder and I will never, ever see her again. And it just breaks my heart that in two weeks she was going to be a bride," said Gail Cameron.

The victim's fianc?, Adam Culvey, told police that he had returned from the store when he spotted a man in the victim's apartment. He chased the man for several blocks, but the suspect got away.

When Culvey returned, he said the apartment was on fire. Her body was discovered after the fire was put out.

Krekorian had this warning for Loera: "It doesn't matter how far you run, it doesn't matter how long you hide. We know who you are, and we are coming after you."

Police say the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous. He has contacts in Fresno and police also speculate he could have gone to Mexico.

A $50,000 reward is offered for information leading to the suspect's arrest. Anyone with information related to the case is urged to call detectives at the LAPD North Hollywood Station at (818) 623-4016.


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