"Homicide Investigation in Devonshire"
Northridge – On Monday, May 21, 2001, at 6:10 p.m., Devonshire Area patrol officers responded to a radio call, "Assault in Progress", in the 8300 Block of Vanalden Avenue, in Northridge. The responding officers arrived and observed a female victim lying in the roadway. A short distance north of the victim, they observed a traffic collision involving a compact vehicle and a parked pick-up truck. The victim appeared to have sustained multiple stab wounds and appeared to have incurred injuries consistent with having been struck by a vehicle while lying in the roadway. Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded and pronounced the victim dead. The officers secured the scene and began gathering a multitude of eyewitnesses.
Devonshire Homicide personnel responded and assumed responsibility of the investigation. Witnesses indicated a male Hispanic was seen driving a white mini-van north on Vanalden Avenue, near Schoenborn Street. The suspect utilized his vehicle to force the compact vehicle, driven by the victim, into the parked truck. The suspect approached the victim’s vehicle and pulled her out of her car. The suspect began stabbing the victim with a knife. The victim attempted to flee on foot and was knocked to the ground by the suspect, who continued to stab her.
Witnesses intervened in order to halt the attack, and the suspect returned to his vehicle. The suspect negotiated a u-turn and ran his vehicle over the victim several times as she lay in the roadway. The suspect then fled in the mini-van, south on Vanalden Avenue toward Roscoe Boulevard.
The victim has been identified as Teresa Duran, a 56 year-old resident of Northridge. The suspect has been described as follows: Male, Hispanic, 5’-06", 180/200 pounds, black hair, dark eyes, in his mid-fifties. The suspect’s vehicle has been described as a newer model mini-van, possibly Ford product, with paper dealer plates attached, possible from Galpin Ford. Investigators are attempting to ascertain whether the victim was known to the suspect, and if so, confirm his identity. The motive for the attack is uncertain.
Devonshire Homicide Detectives are conducting this investigation.
For further information regarding this press release, please contact Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE
During the early hours of May 22, 2001, the investigation focused upon the suspected involvement of the victim’s estranged husband, based on their deteriorating relationship and his unexplained absence following the commission of the crime. Further information was developed which led investigators to the suspect’s possible location. Devonshire detectives located the suspect at 21550 Oxnard Street, in Woodland Hills. Detectives observed the suspect driving a vehicle into the parking structure, and he was detained without incident.
Evidence developed from the traffic stop culminated in the suspect’s arrest for Murder and booked at Van Nuys Jail without bail. He has been identified as Samuel Baca Duran, a 54 year-old resident of Northridge.
The vehicle used by the suspect during the attack remains outstanding.
Devonshire Detectives are requesting that anyone within the community with information regarding the whereabouts of the vehicle, or anyone who witnessed this incident, contact the Devonshire Homicide Unit, at 818-756-8291, during operating hours, or 818-756-8285, during off-hours.
For further information regarding this press release can contact Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.