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Suspect in texting murder case disappears after being released on bail

June 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A suspect in a 2009 murder that stemmed from a text message has disappeared after being released on bail.

Mike Yepremyan, 19, was fatally shot in November 2009 outside a Sears department store in North Hollywood. The shooting happened after the suspect, Zareh Manjikian, 23, and another man confronted Yepremyan about a derogatory word he used in a text message to describe his girlfriend's friend.

"He couldn't have imagined that somebody's going to come and shoot him from the back," said Art Yepremyan, the victim's father. "It's not like they fight and he shoot him."

Since the murder, Art Yepremyan has worked tirelessly to find the killer. He turned to private investigator John Nazarian for help.

"We pretty much pin-pointed who the killer was. We took numerous meetings with the district attorney, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department. At one of those meetings, they were shocked to find out that we knew who the killer was," said Nazarian.

Manjikian was tracked down in Puerto Rico, and federal marshals arrested him last month.

Authorities in Los Angeles requested that Manjikian be held with no bail, but for an unknown reason, a Puerto Rican judge released him on $50,000 bail. Manjikian disappeared after his release.

The victim's father remains determined to get justice.

"I'm 100 percent sure it will happen one day. Sooner or later, it will happen," said Art Yepremyan.


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