A Los Angeles man was arrested and charged with murder after a woman’s dismembered torso was found in a dumpster on Wednesday morning, according to local authorities.
Samuel Haskell, 35, was taken into custody around four hours after the gruesome discovery, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
At a press conference, Detective Efren Gutierrez said that investigators believe the torso may be Haskell’s wife, Mei Haskell, who is currently missing.
“If a murder suspect is dismembering a body, it’s to delay identification,” Gutierrez said Wednesday.
Also missing are Mei’s parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshen Li, who lived with the couple and their three children in Tarzana, California.
“They would normally be home in these hours, and attempts have been made to contact them by phone, by cellphone and no answer. And the same with Mei. She is unaccounted for,” Gutierrez said.
Police said the children, all of elementary-school age, were located safely at school and are currently being cared for.
KTLA reports that on Tuesday night, someone reported seeing body parts in bags near the Haskell home, but police summoned to the scene found they were gone.
The next morning around 6:15 a.m., a homeless man looking through a commercial building’s trash for recyclables found the dismembered torso and called 911, police said.
Security video from that area reportedly led police back to the Haskell home, where they found blood and other evidence.
Haskell, who is being held on $2 million bail, is the son of Sam Haskell Sr., a Hollywood power broker who retired as an agent in 2005 after a blockbuster career representing A-listers like Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg, George Clooney, Tony Danza, Ray Romano, and Kathie Lee Gifford, among others, according to TMZ.
Haskell Sr. is now the president of Magnolia Hill Productions, a company known for producing a number of Parton’s specials, including Dolly Parton’s Magic Mountain Christmas.