Hotel Resident Arrested in Manager’s Murder NR10018pv

January 13, 2010

Los Angeles.  Los Angeles police detectives announced an arrest in the case of Hideko Oyama, the 74-year-old hotel manager who was stabbed to death at the Chetwood Hotel, January 5, 2010.

Jian Hong Li, a 39-year-old Chinese national, was a resident at the Chetwood Hotel who checked out on the day of the murder.  "As a resident of the hotel, we had wanted to interview Mr. Li, but he had disappeared," said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the detective division for downtown.  "Detectives followed leads from Los Angeles to Camarillo, only to discover him walking on First Street, just east of the Los Angeles River."

Around 3:30 PM, January 12, one week after the murder, detectives caught up to Jian Hong Li as he walked on the sidewalk near First and Boyle Streets in East Los Angeles. 

Detectives questioned him at the police station.  "In short order, the detectives were able to compare, confirm, and tie forensic evidence to Li’s presence at the crime scene," Vernon said.  "Once the detectives interviewed Li, they were able to develop enough probable cause to arrest him for the murder." 

Detectives now believe robbery was the motive for the crime.  Li’s bail was set at $1 million.

The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office in a couple of days.  Once filed, the police department will announce a time for a news conference with Ms. Oyama’s daughter present.

"It’s only right to acknowledge the two lead detectives in this case, Thayer Lake and John Thacker," Vernon added.  "Hopefully their tenacity and hard work will give some solace to Ms. Oyama’s family."

The case remains active, so anyone with information is asked to call Central homicide detectives Thayer Lake or John Thacker at 213-972-1254.  Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call 77th Homicide Criminal Gang Group at 213-485-1383. During non-business hours or on weekends calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.