Huffpost Los Angeles

Karine Hakobyan: Third Murder In LA Armenian Family

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LOS ANGELES — More than a year after finding her father and sister shot to death in their apartment, a 14-year-old girl discovered her mother fatally shot behind the wheel of her car in an attack that appeared to be connected to the earlier killings, police said Monday.

Karine Hakobyan, 38, a nursing assistant at Childrens Hospital, was found Friday behind the wheel of her Honda CRV with a gunshot wound to the back of her head.

Detectives investigating the killing of her husband Khachik Safaryan, 43, and their 9-year-old daughter Lucine said there appeared to be a link between the crimes.

"We're working on a theory that was developed in the previous homicides," police Detective Dan Myers said. He cautioned, however, that investigators had yet to uncover definitive evidence connecting the deaths.

He did not provide further details but said none of the victims had any criminal associations.

In both cases, the bodies were discovered by another daughter in the family, Myers said.

Detectives had been in regular contact with Hakobyan during their first investigation. Myers went to her apartment last week then got a call Friday saying she was dead.

"It's horrible," he said. "You meet a victim, you spend a lot of time together, then you get a call in the middle of the night saying she's been murdered."

Police have developed few leads in any of the shootings, despite a $75,000 reward offered for information about the killing of Safaryan and his daughter in their family home on Dec. 11, 2008.

Shortly after those killings, the mother and her surviving daughter moved to her in-laws in a nearby apartment complex.

Neighbors said they were shocked by the attack on Hakobyan in the complex they described as mostly family friendly and secure. However, on Monday the front gate was propped open, leaving a clear path to apartments.

A woman at the apartment of Hakobyan's in-laws said the couple was too upset to speak.

The woman, who declined to give her name, said Hakobyan kept her feelings to herself but struggled with the deaths of her husband and daughter and frequently visited a nearby memorial park.

Hakobyan and Safaryan married in Armenia and moved from the capital city of Yerevan to the U.S. in 2003, Myers said.

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