Son of Hollywood producer arrested after torso found in dumpster; wife, in-laws missing

(KTLA) – Homicide detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department have announced an arrest in connection with the discovery of a woman’s torso in a dumpster Wednesday morning.

At a press conference late Wednesday night, officials said Samuel Haskell, 35, was arrested at the Topanga Mall and charged with one count of murder. Haskell is the son of Samuel Haskell Sr., a TV producer and former high-profile agent with Hollywood’s William Morris talent agency, Deadline and the Los Angeles Times reported.

While authorities believe the torso found in the bag may be Haskell’s wife, Mei Haskell, they said partial remains are harder to positively identify.

Mei Haskell
Mei Haskell

“If a murder suspect is dismembering a body, it’s to delay identification,” said LAPD homicide detective Efren Gutierrez.

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Investigators also said they are looking for Haskell’s in-laws, Gaoshan Li, 72, and YanXiang Wang, 64, who lived with the suspect and his wife at their home in LA’s Tarzana neighborhood.

Haskell In Laws
Haskell In Laws

The investigation was launched Tuesday evening, when, according to police, someone reported seeing body parts in a bag outside the Tarzana home. When authorities went to investigate, the bags were gone.

On Wednesday morning at about 6:15 a.m., a homeless man scavenging for recyclables discovered the woman’s remains in the dumpster in a parking lot in Encino, roughly five miles away from Haskell’s home.

Later in the day, detectives returned to Haskell’s home and were seen going in and out of the residence, eventually confirming that the home was linked to a vehicle seen near the dumpster.

Gutierrez said at Wednesday’s press conference that evidence of a crime was discovered inside the home, including “blood evidence.”

Encino Dumpster Body
Encino Dumpster Body

Police believe the woman was killed sometime within the past few days. Investigators are still soliciting tips and hoping surveillance video will shed more light on the investigation.

Police are also looking for two missing SUVs — a white Volkswagen Tiguan with a California license plate 9ANC890 and a white Nissan Pathfinder with a California license plate 7FRM190.

The woman’s parents were last seen in one of the SUVs, police said.

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The couple’s three young sons were removed from their respective schools following the gruesome discovery and are staying with relatives.

As of Friday, Haskell was being held at the Valley Jail in Van Nuys on $2 million bail.

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