LOS ANGELES -- Detectives say they believe infatuation led to the murders of an Armenian family in Hollywood.
Los Angeles Police detectives say 60 year old Alberd Tersargyan, a former Armenian soldier, killed a Hollywood couple and their 9 year old daughter in a series of attacks because he thought he could win the mother's love by eliminating her husband, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Tersargyan is accused of killing Khachik Sararyan, 43, and his daughter, Lucine in December 2008. They were found shot to death inside their apartment in the 1200 block of Tamarind Avenue in Hollywood.
A surviving daughter, who was 12 years old at the time of the murders, discovered both bodies.
Shortly after those killings, Karine Hakobyan, 38, and her surviving daughter moved in with her in-laws in an apartment complex on Lexington Ave.
Eighteen months later on March 26, 2010, Karine was found slumped in her car with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, blocks away from the first crime scene. The vehicle was parked in a fenced, gated area in the 5800 block of Lexington Avenue, according to police.
The same daughter who found her father and sister dead, also made the gruesome discovery of her mother.
At the time of Hakobyan's murder, a family friend, who did not want to be identified for fear of his life, spoke exclusively to KTLA, and said the family was gunned down because of a love triangle.
The motive for the killings baffled police who say Tersargyan misled investigators after the first two murders. He provided details of a love affair that the husband was having and led investigators to suspect the mistress and her husband, according to Detective Danny Myers.
Detectives say they finally unravelled the mystery. In 2008, Safaryan told Tersargyan he was having an affair with an old girlfriend from Armenia, according to Detective Mike Whalen.
Tersargyan had fallen in love with Sararyan's wife and tried to break up the marriage. When his efforts failed to end the marraige, investigators say Tersargyan sent an anonymous threat warning her husband to leave the country. Days later, he and his daughter were killed.
After the killings, Tersargyan continued to pursue Hakobyan but she rebuffed him. 15 months later, investigators say he finally turned on her and killed her.
Hakobyan never mentioned Tersargyan's advances to detectives and they never suspect him, investigators said.
Tersargyan became a suspect after his boss at a cabinetmaking company told a Glendale police officer he knew that Tersargyan had talked about his close relationship with the slain family and that he had seen Tersargyan with a handgun, investigators said.
He was arrested in April and tests later showed that his gun was used to fire the bullets that killed Hakobyan, Whalen said.
Tersargyan is also accused of killing a prostitute.
Julie Kates, was shot in the temple at a Sunset Boulevard bus stop about a mile away from the family's home. An acquaintance told investigators that a day earlier, a man in a gray van had accused the woman of stealing a DVD player and threatened to hurt her unless she returned it.
A van matching that description was found at Tersargyan's home, and after his arrest Julie Kates' acquaintance identified him as the man who had threatened her, police said.
Tersargyan, who came to the U.S. nearly a decade ago, once served in the Armenian army and fancied himself "a professional killer," according to detectives.
He remains jailed without bail and has already plead not guilty to a capital murder charge with special circumstances of lying in wait for the murder of Hakobyan. It is not clear if Tersargyan has obtained an attorney on the new murder charges.
Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty if Tersargyan is convicted, the district attorney's office said.