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Moon Young Cheung, 78

Moon Young Cheung, a 78-year-old Chinese woman, died Wednesday, Feb. 15, after she was strangled in the 1800 block of West Garvey Avenue in Alhambra, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Alhambra police officers were called about 12:42 p.m. regarding a woman lying on the ground outside her apartment, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Troy Ewing. The woman was later identified as Cheung, who lived in the apartment with her adult daughter.  

Cheung’s daughter told investigators that she was sleeping when her mother went out on her regular morning walk. When she woke up, she said, her mother wasn’t in the apartment.  

About 12:30 p.m., a man knocked on her door and pointed to her mother lying on the ground outside, Ewing said. When the daughter ran to check on her mother, the man at the door darted inside and locked the door, Ewing said. 

The daughter ran to a neighboring apartment to call for help, and the man ran out the back door of her apartment, Ewing said. 

Cheung was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:05 p.m., according to coroner’s records. The cause of death was asphyxia by neck compression and blunt trauma. 

Later that evening, a resident who lived less than a block from Cheung's apartment reported that he found a man sitting inside his car who was now hiding in his shed, Ewing said. 

The man inside the shed matched the description of the man who entered Cheung's home. Milton Chavez, a 25-year-old Latino, was initially arrested on suspicion of trespassing and was later charged with murder in connection with Cheung’s death, according to Los Angeles County court records. 

No one in the neighborhood knows Chavez, who appears to be a transient, Ewing said. Chavez is being held in lieu of $2.02 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned March 22 in the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 8990-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

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