Elena Lillian Moore, 16
Elena Lillian "Lily" Moore, a 16-year-old Latina, was stabbed to death Friday, Aug. 12, in the 9800 block of Shade Lane in Pico Rivera, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Elena was in her downstairs bedroom about 3:15 a.m. when she was stabbed repeatedly by someone who then ran out of the house, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The girl screamed and staggered into her mother’s bedroom, where she collapsed, according to the release. Her mother called 911, but Elena was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple stab wounds at 3:38 a.m., according to coroner’s records.
Elena mentioned the name of her former boyfriend before she died, causing investigators to name him as a suspect in the case.
The 17-old-year was arrested on suspicion of murder four days later, under a railroad underpass at Rosemead Boulevard and Slauson Avenue in Pico Rivera. The Sheriff’s Department thanked the public for providing several tips that led investigators to the area.
Rory Murga Jr., who turns 18 in April, was charged as an adult on Aug. 17 with one count of murder, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 8 in Department J of the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Norwalk Courthouse.
Elena and Murga dated for about a year before she broke off the relationship; she was stabbed two weeks later, according to the sheriff’s release.
Friends described Elena as a gregarious, happy-go-lucky girl who liked listening to metal music and playing video games. She attended El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera as a freshman, but didn’t return to school the following year, her cousin, Denver Esparza, 17, told The Times.
“I think she was headed down the wrong path, but she was a really nice person,” Esparza said. “She was open to new things, trying new stuff. She never put anyone down.”
Another neighborhood friend, Jonathan Archouletta, 18, said Elena seemed “pretty happy. She always tried to keep positive.”
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the stabbing, and how the assailant got into the house. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.