Chere Osmanhodzic, 34
Chere Osmanhodzic, a 34-year-old white woman, was killed Saturday, July 24, in the 11500 block of Riverside Drive in Valley Village, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
[Note: This homicide did not appear on a coroner's report several months ago because here was a security hold placed on the case. The coroner's office is unable to provide any information about Osmanhodzic's death, including whether it was deemed a homicide. It was added Sept. 15, 2010, after the LAPD put out a press release alerting the public about Osmanhodzic's alleged killer.]
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a residential fire about 7 p.m. and after they extinguished the flames, they found Osmanhodzic's body, according to an LAPD news release. She had sustained multiple stab wounds.
During the investigation, detectives learned that Osmanhodzic's boyfriend, who also lived at the home, had returned from the store and confronted a man inside the residence. Police said he chased the man for several blocks but was unable to apprehend him. When the boyfriend returned to the house, he saw that it was in flames.
A day after the incident, authorities put out a composite sketch of the alleged assailant. He was described as a stocky Latino in his mid-20s, 5 feet 8, wearing black shorts, a blue shirt and a black baseball hat turned backward. Additionally, authorities announced a $55,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
With the help of DNA evidence, on Sept. 14 investigators identified the assailant as Omar Armando Loera, a 34-year-old Latino.
At the time of Osmanhodzic's death, Loera was a parolee who was out on early release, having served 23 months of a 32-month prison sentence in connection with a 2008 robbery.
Loera has yet to be found and arrested. Authorities said it was not clear if he is still in Southern California or has fled to another jurisdiction or country, most likely Mexico.
-- Sarah Ardalani and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Omar Armando Loera. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department