Schiff Writes to AG Holder Concerning the Murder of Mike Yepremyan

Washington, DC –Yesterday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent the following letter to Attorney General Eric Holder concerning the murder of 19-year-old Mike Yepremyan from North Hollywood and the primary suspect in the case, Zareh Manjikian:


Dear Mr. Attorney General:

I am writing to bring to your attention a case of great concern to me and my constituents, and to respectfully request your assistance. In November 2009, Mike Yepremyan, a 19-year-old college student was murdered in a North Hollywood parking lot. The senseless and brutal killing occurred over an argument about a text message that he had sent. His killers lured him to a parking lot, assaulted him, and shot him to death from close range.

Since the murder, the Los Angeles Police Department has aggressively investigated the case. After an 18 month investigation, a primary suspect was identified and located in Puerto Rico, where he had apparently fled after the murder. The suspect, Zareh Manjikian, was captured by U.S. Marshals in May 2011, and placed in Puerto Rican custody to await an extradition request by the Los Angeles District Attorney.

Incredibly, just when it seemed justice would be done, Mr. Manjikian appeared before Puerto Rican Judge Gloria Maynard. The Judge set bail at the extraordinarily low amount of $50,000, meaning the suspect needed to post only $5,000 in cash to make bail. Not surprisingly, Mr. Manjikian posted bail and fled once again. His location is currently unknown. A suspect in a premeditated murder who had already fled from California and actively evaded attempts to capture him should never have been released from custody, much less so on such a low bail.

I understand that the U.S. Marshal Service has worked diligently in close collaboration with the LAPD to locate Mr. Manjikian. I ask you to use the full powers of your office to assist in the recapture of Mr. Manjikian, wherever he may be, and to bring him to justice. Additionally, I ask that you, in cooperation with Puerto Rican authorities, investigate the circumstances that led to his release from custody and pursue any leads that could lead to his recapture.

Thank you as always for your service and your assistance in this important matter.


Congressman Adam B. Schiff