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Home / News / Crime / Day laborers say they were hired to move bags with body parts

Day laborers say they were hired to move bags with body parts

by City News Service
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A group of day laborers said Friday they were hired by a suspected killer to help move trash bags containing body parts out of his Tarzana home.

The workers told NBC4 they were paid $500 by Samuel Haskell to haul away three large trash bags from inside the garage at his home on the 4100 block of Coldstream Terrace.

The workers told NBC4 Haskell told them the bags were full of rocks, but once they picked up the bags, it felt like there was meat inside.

“When we picked up the bags, we could tell they weren’t rocks,” a worker who asked not want to be identified told NBC4 in Spanish.

The men described the bags to NBC4 as soft and soggy, each weighing about 50 pounds. They told NBC4 something did not feel right, so they stopped their truck a block away to look inside the bags.

“I started seeing body parts, a belly button,” the worker told NBC4. “I was astonished. Of course, I felt bad. We had been tricked.”

The men told NBC4 they drove back to Haskell’s home, left the bags on the driveway and returned the money.

The worker told NBC4 they told Haskell they didn’t want to be involved, and Haskell tried to pass the body parts off as Halloween props.

The men told NBC4 they drove immediately to the police, but were turned away from two law enforcement stations when they tried to report what they saw.

They told NBC4 they initially went to the California Highway Patrol’s West Valley Area office in Woodland Hills where they were directed to the Los Angeles Police Department, going to the Topanga Community Police Station, where they were told to leave and call 911 from the courtyard.

Haskell was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder at the Westfield Topanga mall by LAPD officers following a search of his home. Police said the search was prompted by surveillance video evidence from Encino, where a homeless man searching for recyclables found a dismembered body in a plastic bag around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday near a trash bin at Ventura Boulevard and Rubio Way.

The woman whose dismembered remains were found has not been identified. Police said, however, that Haskell’s wife, 37-year-old Mei Le Haskell, and in-laws — Gaoshan Li, 72, and YanXiang Wang, 64 — are all missing and being sought by police.

All of them lived together with Haskell at the Coldstream Terrace address, along with Haskell’s three children, police said. The three children have been found safe and are being cared for by family members.

Police said two vehicles connected to Haskell are also missing and are being sought — a white Volkswagen Tiguan, license 9ANC890; and a white 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, license 7FRM190.

It was unclear how long the remains may have been in the Encino trash bin, or how long ago the victim may have died, although police suggested the killing may have occurred in the past few days.

Haskell was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, according to jail records.

Anyone with information on the case or on the location of Haskell’s family or the missing vehicles was urged to call the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division at 213-486-6890. During nonbusiness hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or go directly to lacrimestoppers.org.

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