Thursday, October 18

LAPD investigation under way after body of student found in local park


Tuesday, October 27, 1998

LAPD investigation under way after body of student found in
local park

CO-OP: Police hope to make arrests this week for murder

of Loyola Marymount student

By Ann Hawkey

Daily Bruin Contributor

Roses and carnations lay in memory of Christopher Emory Chessmar
outside of his Westwood residence this week, after the Loyola
Marymount student was murdered earlier this month.

Chessmar, who lived in the University of California Housing
Association co-op at 10940 Ophir Drive, was reported missing to
university police Oct. 8.

His body was discovered two days later in Arroyo Seco Park in
East Los Angeles, where he was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot
wounds.

LAPD detectives have at least two suspects under investigation
at this time, but could not release further details about the crime
because no arrests have been made yet.

Arrest warrants, good for 30 days, have been issued and LAPD
detectives hope to make an arrest sometime this week, said
Detective Rick Peterson of the LAPD Hollenbeck Division.

"His mother filed the police report over the phone from Santa
Monica because she was worried that she hadn’t seen him in a few
days," said UCPD Detective Terry Brown. "He was last seen four days
prior to the report being made, and he was located a day and half
after that."

UCPD detectives handled the case until the body was discovered
by a maintenance worker in the park just south of the 110 freeway,
at which time LAPD detectives took over the homicide
investigation.

"UCPD did assist LAPD in sharing information gathered from the
missing persons report and in securing the crime scene, but that
was the extent of our involvement in the investigation," Brown
said.

Peterson did say, however, that the suspects did not live in the
apartment complex and were not UCLA students.

Chessmar was a 34-year-old student who had transferred this year
to Loyola Marymount University from Santa Monica Community
College.

"I knew something was wrong when Chris didn’t go to school the
next day," said Chessmar’s roommate Rishad Mitha, a fourth-year
sociology student at UCLA. "His backpack was here but he never
showed up."

"Chris never missed school. He worked really hard to get a
scholarship, so he was really serious about it," he said.

Chessmar did not say where he was going the last time he left
the apartment before he disappeared, Mitha said.

"He was sitting here working on the computer, and then he just
got up and left," Mitha said. "He just left and he never came
back."

Mitha also said that Chessmar did not receive any phone calls
before leaving, and the last person he talked to was his mother,
who he was very close with.

He is also survived by a younger brother and his father.

Neighbors and friends set up a small memorial with flowers, a
candle and a photo of Chessmar outside his door after his body was
discovered two weeks ago.

A missing person flyer that was made before his body was found
was also displayed there.

Chessmar had moved into the co-op at the end of spring quarter
this year, and had made friends with most of the residents there,
Mitha said.

"He was very outgoing, with a lot of friends that were always
coming over," Mitha said. "He was a really nice guy and he made
friends very easily. He was really trusting – if you ever wanted
anything he would give it to you."CHARLES KUO

Murdered Loyola student Christopher Chessmar lived in the UCLA
co-op.

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© 1998 ASUCLA Communications Board[Home]

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