A story for every victim

Eric Von Young, 53

Eric Von Young, a 53-year-old black male, was found inside a vacant building that had been set on fire on Wednesday, May 20, in West Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles County coroner. 

Los Angeles County firefighters discovered Young about 11:30 p.m. after they extinguished a fire at 9080 Santa Monica Blvd., said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Jauch.

Young, a homeless man, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:06 a.m. on May 21. 

The coroner’s office has not released the cause of death, but Jauch said the fire at the building was deliberately set, and Young's death "appears to be related to a criminal fire." 

Deputies arrested Andrew Clark on suspicion of murder and arson on May 28, after interviewing him about Young's death. 

Clark, a 35-year-old white man, is also a transient, Jauch said. The two men "knew each other from the streets," he said, but he couldn't comment on what investigators believe happened between them.

"We're still doing some homework to find out exactly what led up to this," he said.

Jauch also said he couldn't comment on whether the men had been living in the building that burned. 

"I can say it was an abandoned commercial building," Jauch said, "but  in terms of whether it was a homeless encampment, I'm not qualified to say."

Investigators will present their evidence on June 1 to the Los Angeles District Attorney at Airport Court for consideration of filing formal charges against Clark. 

Anyone with information should call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crimes Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

-- Jeanette Marantos

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