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Young Ja Lee, 77

Young Ja Lee, a 77-year-old Korean woman, was found dead Wednesday, March 25, in Tustin after detectives believe she was killed in the 1200 block of North Diamond Bar Boulevard in Diamond Bar, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Shortly after 1 a.m., the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a fire at Lee’s home. Authorities determined that the fire started in the dining room or kitchen area and did not find anyone inside, said Lt. Eddie Hernandez with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

Later that day, authorities received a tip that Lee may have been killed at the home, and that the woman who killed her was driving in the Tustin area. Police located the woman in the area and pulled her over at an intersection. The woman, later identified as Un Young Lee, a 43-year-old Asian woman, was driving a minivan with Lee’s remains stuffed in four trash bags inside, Hernandez said.

“We’re not sure exactly where she was headed at that point,” Hernandez said.

Young Ja Lee was the woman’s mother-in-law, whom she had an ongoing battle over a property in San Dimas. The coroner is still determining the cause of death, Hernandez said.

Un Young Lee was charged March 27 with one count of murder, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Prosecutors said the killing took place sometime between March 23 and March 25.

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

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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