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Detectives investigate homicide after elderly woman is found dead outside her Alhambra apartment

The death of a 78-year-old Asian woman Wednesday afternoon has been ruled a homicide, although initially described as a “suspicious death” by the Alhambra Police Department in a Facebook post. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is continuing the investigation.

Moon Cheung, who suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper torso, was pronounced dead at the scene in an apartment complex on the 1800 block of West Garvey Avenue in Alhambra, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department wrote in a news release.

A 25-year-old man, matching the description of the suspect in the investigation, was arrested for trespassing and found to be in possession of an item that belonged to the victim hours after the incident that occurred at 12:42 p.m., according to the news release.

The Alhambra Police Department located and detained suspect Milton Chavez after responding on scene to a “call regarding a suspicious person in a shed, a short distance from the victim’s residence."Alhambra Police officers learned that a male Hispanic adult had knocked on the victim’s door and showed to a family member that the victim was on the ground outside her residence.

“When the family member exited the residence to assist the victim, the suspect entered the residence, shut the door, and locked it,” as described in the news release.

Alhambra Police officers responded to a 911 call made by the family member, but they were not able to find the suspect within the residence at that time.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau has since taken the lead on the investigation, but an Alhambra Police detective will continue working with the Sheriff’s Department.

A murder investigation takes a lot of manpower, including time and resources, Sergeant Jerry Johnson told the Source. The Alhambra Police Department, which has a smaller staff of about 80, asked if the Sheriff’s Department’s detectives could take over the case and they accepted, Johnson said. 

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500

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