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A $75,000 reward was issued Tuesday for information leading to an arrest in the murders of a father and daughter in Hollywood that occurred in December 2008.
Investigators hope the reward, which was initiated by Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, 13th District, will generate new information in the unsolved case. The bodies of the victims, Khachik Safaryan, 43, and his eight-year-old daughter Lusine, were found by Safaryan’s 14-year-old daughter on December 11, 2008 inside the family’s apartment in the 1200 block of Tamarind Avenue. Both victims were shot to death. Detectives are concurrently investigating the murder of Safaryan’s 38-year-old wife, Karine Hakobyan, whose body was found on March 26 in her car outside her apartment in the 5800 block of Lexington Avenue. The couple’s 14-year-old daughter also found Hakobyan’s body. She had been shot once in the back of the head, according to Det. Dan Myers, with the Los Angeles Police Departments Robbery-Homicide Division.
“The reward was put together to try to encourage anyone who might have any information to come forward,” Myers said. “It’s one tool we have available to us, and we are hoping it will lead to some information that will possibly link someone to the crime.”
Myers, who is one of two detectives handling both the Safaryan and Hakobyan murder investigations, said a reward may also be established soon for information in the Hakobyan case. He said detectives are following leads, but declined to elaborate. Police are looking into a personal relationship that had soured between Safaryan and an unidentified person, but no connections have been made so far. Investigators are also working with other law enforcement agencies that investigate organized crime. Myers said no arrests are imminent and no suspects have been identified.
The surviving daughter has been staying with friends and family members, and police are keeping a close watch over her, Myers said. Hakobyan’s funeral is scheduled for today, and Myers said there will be a police presence at the service.
“We are taking the steps necessary to make sure she is safe,” Myers added. “She has been remarkably strong through all of this.”
Myers added that investigators do not believe that the murders in Hollywood are related to the murders of four men in a North Hollywood restaurant on April 3. The victims in all three of the murder cases are Armenian, but that is the only connection, according to Myers.
Police announced on April 9 that a suspect has been identified in the North Hollywood murders, which occurred inside the Hot Spot Café at 11651 Riverside Dr. The suspect, Nerses Arthur Galstyan, 28, is considered to be armed and dangerous. Galstyan was charged last Friday in a separate federal indictment alleging he is involved in illegal gun sales. Police are asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to come forward.
Investigators handling the North Hollywood case said the shooting occurred after an argument erupted between Galstyan and the victims. The victims and the gunman reportedly knew each other, and had gone to the restaurant after attending a memorial service for a friend who had died a year earlier in a car accident. It was reported that all four of the victims had ties to an Armenian street gang based in East Hollywood. The victims were also reported to be acquaintances of a 24-year-old murder victim named Akop Akopyan who was found shot to death in Hollywood on March 27, 2007. That case remains unsolved, but Myers said there is no connection between Akopyan and the Safaryans or Hakobyan.
Anyone with information about the murders in Hollywood or North Hollywood is asked to contact detectives with the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division at (213)486-6850. During weekends and off-hours, call the LAPD’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at (877)LAPD-24-7.
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