A story for every victim

Michelle Alexis Young, 31

Michelle Alexis Young, a 31-year-old white woman, was fatally stabbed Friday, Sept. 5, in the 11500 block of Obert Avenue in South Whittier, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

About 11 p.m., Young was standing outside an apartment building talking to a man when a woman walked up to her and initiated an argument, said Lt. Eddie Hernandez with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The argument escalated, and the woman pulled out a knife and began to stab Young, Hernandez said. Young was pronounced dead at 11:12 p.m. at the scene, said Ed Winter, the assistant chief of investigations for the coroner’s office.

“We’re still working on the motive in the killing but at this point there’s no link between anybody,” Hernandez said.

After the stabbing, the attacker broke into a tire shop and threatened a security guard. The woman demanded clothing, grabbed a bag and left the store, authorities said.

Vanessa Celaya, 28, was arrested; she was charged Sept. 9 with one count of murder, first-degree residential robbery, and first-degree burglary with weapon allegations, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Celaya pleaded not guilty, prosecutors said, and she is due back in court Sept. 23. Her bail was set at $1.14 million.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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