The dismembered body found in a California dumpster has been positively identified by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner as that of Mei Li Haskell, the missing wife married to Samuel Haskell IV, the son of a Hollywood executive, who stands accused of her murder, as well as the disappearance of her parents who are still missing.
The medical examiner, on Monday, officially recorded the death of Mei, a 37-year-old mother, as November 8, the day a torso was found in a dumpster in Encino, just two days after Mei and her parents were last seen, CNN reported. The official record indicates Mei's place of death as a parking lot.
Murder Finally Proved
The details regarding how officials determined Haskell's death are not specified in the available information. Haskell's parents, identified as Chinese nationals Gaoshan Li, 72, and Yanxiang Wang, 64, are still reported as missing.
Haskell, the son of a prominent Hollywood super-agent, faces charges of triple murder in connection with Mei and her parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshan Li.
Samuel Haskell IV, 35, was arrested on the same day the torso was found. His arrest followed statements from day laborers who alleged that Haskell had hired them to dispose of heavy trash bags, which they suspected contained body parts.
Haskell IV was allegedly caught on camera disposing of the body in the dumpster. During a second search of his home, where police executed a warrant, authorities claim to have uncovered evidence pointing to a gruesome crime.
During a brief court appearance on December 8, the heavily tattooed 35-year-old, who was under suicide watch, appeared shirtless as Velcro straps on a special gown he was wearing came undone.
Although he was expected to enter a plea during the hearing, LA Superior Court Judge Kimberley Baker Guillemet decided to postpone the arraignment and plea until January 12 at the request of Haskell's new attorney, Joseph Weimortz. The attorney, recently hired, mentioned the need for time to acquaint himself with the details of the case.
Caught in the Web
Prosecutors contend that the day after the murders, Haskell hired four day laborers to clear black trash bags from his home in the Los Angeles area. According to one worker, he was allegedly paid $500 to dispose of three large trash bags.
The worker claimed that Haskell initially informed them the bags contained rocks, but later allegedly pretended the body parts were 'Halloween props'.
"When we picked up the bags, we could tell they weren't rocks,' he said, noting that the bags were soft and soggy."
Haskell and his co-workers reportedly looked inside the bags and saw "body parts, including a belly button."
"I was astonished. Of course, I felt bad. We had been tricked," he said.
The men then returned both the bags and the money to Haskell's home, telling him they did not "want to be involved."
They then promptly approached law enforcement, notifying both the California Highway Patrol and the police about the disturbing discovery.
Haskell is the son of Samuel Haskell III, who previously served as the executive vice-president and worldwide head of television for the talent agency William Morris Endeavor.
Haskell III was a prominent agent affiliated with William Morris, representing notable clients such as Dolly Parton, George Clooney, Whoopi Goldberg, and Prince Edward, the brother of King Charles.
If convicted on all three counts of murder, Haskell IV could potentially face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.