Los Angeles News
Funeral held for murdered teen
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- A memorial has held Sunday for a Los Feliz teen who was found dead in her car near skid row.
Friends, family and teachers showed up at Barnsdall Park in Hollywood to remember Lily Burk. Speakers talked about the teens many talents as a writer and in theater rather than the criminal case against her alleged killer.
"She loved music. She could sing better than everyone," said Lily's father Greg Burk fighting back tears. "When she came home everyday I heard her singing. I heard the signing before I heard her footsteps."
"I don't know how everything is going to be fine now. I don't have you, I don't have a piece of me. I don't understand it, I don't ever expect to," said Lily's friend Emma Wartzman.
Burk had gone to her mother's office at Southwestern University School of Law to pick up papers on July 24, but she never returned home.
Parolee Charlie Samuel faces several counts of murder, robbery and kidnapping to commit a robbery.
According to the L.A. Times, Samuel should have been behind bars but due to a clerical error was out wandering the streets of Los Angeles.
Burk was found dead inside her car the morning after she disappeared. She had been beaten, and her neck had been slashed.
Police found Samuel's fingerprints inside the vehicle, and he was already in police custody after being arrested for drinking in public and possessing a crack cocaine pipe shortly after he allegedly carried out the murder.
Samuel was convicted of robbery and residential burglary in San Bernardino County in 1987. Ten years later, he was convicted of another burglary and was eligible to be prosecuted under California's three-strikes law.
But because of a clerical error, the 1997 burglary charge was filed as a second strike instead of a third. A third strike can put a convicted felon away for 25 years to life.
It is unclear who made the mistake in Samuel's case.
Samuel will be arraigned on August 20. He remains in police custody without bail. If convicted he could face life in prison or the death penalty.
"Lily reminded me of the root meaning of the word angel, which is a messenger," said Greg Burk. "She had so many messages for me. I can't count them but the main one was love."
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