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Unsolved Koreatown murder: Family hopes $100K reward leads to artist's killer

An undated file photo of Samuel Michel, who was killed in his Koreatown apartment on April 10, 2012.
April 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Samuel Michel loved the arts. From playing the piano to showing off his creations, the aspiring artist and photographer moved to Los Angeles to begin his career. Instead, the 25 year old lost his life.

"The not knowing is the hardest part because Sam really was a sweet, kind, completely not aggressive individual, and for him to have died in this way is just frightening," said Matthew Thompson, Michel's friend.

Michel was murdered in his Koreatown apartment on April 10, 2012. The search continues for his killer. With little information to go on, Michel's parents have doubled the reward, upping it to $100,000.

"We want someone to come forward, it's the reason for the increase in the reward, it's the reason for the event that we're throwing. Somebody knows something and we want them to come forward," said a family friend, Bob Harris.

Neighbors of the Villa Sir Francis Drake apartments called police after hearing loud screams coming from Michel's fifth floor apartment. Inside, officers found Michel with a knife in his back and stab wounds to his head. Detectives have no idea who killed Michel or why. Friends say he had no enemies.

Friends also said Michel had spent that night having drinks with friends before walking home around 12:45 a.m. About two hours later, neighbors heard his screams.

"Somebody knows something," Harris said. "It's also a lot of money so we hope this will jar somebody to come forward, because they need it, we all need it. He was a great guy."

Michel's family and friends on Wednesday plan to hold a vigil at his apartment complex to honor his life and to plead for the public's help. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the LAPD at (877) 527-3247.


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