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Suspect charged in Valley Village arson/murder

October 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The man accused of killing a Valley Village bride-to-be faced murder charges in a Van Nuys court Wednesday. Omar Loera, 34, was arrested in Mexicali, Mexico, Tuesday. Loera is charged with killing 34-year-old Chere Osmanhodzic on July 24. Baja state police arrested Omar Loera in Mexicali, Mexico, on Tuesday at about 2 p.m. He is now at the Van Nuys Jail.

The 34-year-old is facing one count each of murder, burglary, arson and assault with a deadly weapon. If he is convicted, he could get the death penalty.

Gayle Cameron, the victim's mother, said she had mixed emotions about the arrest.

"I was happy, but I was sad. Happy because he is now in custody and will never hurt anybody again like he did my daughter, but sad because it won't bring her back," she said.

Detectives got tips from the public that Loera may have gone to Mexico, so the U.S. Marshal Service and Mexican authorities worked to find the suspect.

Loera has been charged in the brutal killing of 34-year-old Chere Osmanhodzic. Her body was found inside her Valley Village home after it was sent on fire on July 24.

Police said her fianc?e had come home from the store when he spotted a man in the house. He chased the man for several blocks, but the suspect got away. When he returned, the house was completely engulfed in flames

The couple was going to be married next month.

The victim's family has been devastated by the murder and helped post wanted flyers after DNA evidence at the scene identified Loera as the prime suspect in her death.

Loera was on parole for robbery when Osmanhodzic was murder.

Police said the willingness of the public to help detectives has made all the difference in the case.

"We've been actively getting phone calls on a daily basis that somebody seems to think they spotted him. We would go out and investigate that," said LAPD Sgt. William Mann. "The public is our eyes and ears."

Police said the $50,000 reward that the L.A. City Council had offered helped in terms of tips. It is not known if anyone will be receiving the reward.

Loera will remain incarcerated without bail. He is due back in court on Nov. 16. to be arraigned on the charges.


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