A 19-year-old Hollywood resident has been arrested and charged with murdering a victim last weekend in an apartment in Koreatown.
The suspect, Merdan Haydarov, was taken into custody on Nov. 23. He was arraigned on Wednesday on one charge of murder with special circumstances, and is being held without bail.
The victim, Randall Scott Kreeger, 49, lived in an apartment in the 3300 block of James M. Wood Blvd. in Koreatown. He was last seen by friends at the apartment at approximately 11 a.m. on Nov. 23.
The following day, Kreeger’s friends reported him missing at approximately 3:25 p.m. when he didn’t show up for a social gathering. The friends were concerned for his safety and went to his apartment. They entered and found some blood and furniture that was out of place, and notified police.
Det. Mark Morgan, with the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide Unit, said homicide investigators were assigned to the case because of the likelihood of foul play. The victim’s 2013 Mini Cooper was missing, and detectives put out a citywide bulletin for the vehicle.
Later on Nov. 24, officers from the LAPD’s Hollywood Division pulled the vehicle over near the corner of Fountain Avenue and Vine Street. Haydarov was driving the vehicle at the time.
Morgan said a search warrant was served at the suspect’s apartment near Wilcox Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, and additional evidence was recovered, although he declined to elaborate.
The victim’s body was later located in a dumpster in the 1800 block of Garfield Place, near Franklin Avenue. Morgan also declined to comment on how police located the body because of the ongoing investigation and pending court proceedings.
It appears the victim was stabbed to death, but Morgan said investigators are still awaiting an exact cause of death from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. It also appears the victim was killed in the apartment, and his body was transported to the location where it was found, Morgan said.
The detective added that the suspect and the victim had been acquaintances since early November, and had met “on the street,” but he didn’t know the location.
In addition to the Mini Cooper, the suspect allegedly stole the victim’s wallet and other small items from his apartment.
Morgan said investigators are still examining whether Haydarov is responsible for any similar crimes.
“We are looking into it. We have a lot of video to look at and we are pursuing phone records,” Morgan added. “It’s early in the investigation. We are just scratching the tip of the iceberg.”
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact detectives with the West Bureau Homicide Unit at (213)382-9470. During weekends and off-hours, call the LAPD’s 24-hour hotline at (877)LAPD247.
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