Son of Hollywood exec accused of killing wife and her parents hired worker who found body parts in trash, prosecutors say

Nov 14, 2023, 5:30 AM

Police say Mei Li Haskell, 37, Yanxiang Wang, 64, and Gaoshan Li, 71, are unaccounted for. (Los Ang...

Police say Mei Li Haskell, 37, Yanxiang Wang, 64, and Gaoshan Li, 71, are unaccounted for. (Los Angeles Police Department)

(Los Angeles Police Department)

Originally Published: 13 NOV 23 00:04 ET
Updated: 13 NOV 23 21:25 ET

Los Angeles (CNN) — The son of a Hollywood agent is facing charges in the killings of his missing wife and her parents after body parts were allegedly found in his trash and a nearby dumpster, according to California prosecutors.

Samuel Haskell, 35, appeared Monday afternoon in a Los Angeles court where a judge denied him bail but granted his attorney’s request to postpone his arraignment. He was not asked to enter a plea to three counts of murder, each enhanced with special allegations of multiple murders.

He was arrested last week after part of a woman’s body was found in a dumpster. The discovery early Wednesday led investigators to the home he shared with his wife, their three children and his in-laws. Los Angeles police say they searched the home and found blood and other evidence – but they did not find his wife or her parents.

Prosecutors offered new details in the chilling case Monday, alleging Haskell killed 37-year-old Mei Li Haskell, and her parents, 71-year-old Gaoshan Li and 64-year-old Yanxiang Wang. Up until now, investigators had said the trio were missing.

CNN has reached out to Haskell’s attorney for comment. Haskell, who appeared in court in a blue jail uniform, will be formally charged at his arraignment December 8.

Here’s what we know.

Haskell allegedly hired workers to remove trash bags with body parts

In a Monday news release, prosecutors said a day laborer – who was one of four workers Haskell allegedly hired on Tuesday to remove some heavy black plastic trash bags from his home in Tarzana – found body parts in a bag the laborer opened. The worker called 911 and reported the discovery.

The same day someone allegedly observed and photographed Haskell putting a large trash bag into a dumpster not far from his home, according to the news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The next day, a woman’s torso was found in that dumpster, according to prosecutors.

The disturbing find came just before sunrise Wednesday morning. A person looking through dumpster bins behind a busy road found a bag, and inside it, the body part, authorities said.

While identification of the dismembered body part is pending, one police official said it’s believed to be Mei Li Haskell – the suspect’s wife.

Police found blood inside the home

Investigators who responded to the call about the body part found in a dumpster found information that led them to the suspect’s house in the West Valley area, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. It’s unclear what information was found that led to the suspect.

At the home, authorities found “blood evidence and other items,” LAPD Det. Efren Gutierrez said in a news conference last week, according to CNN affiliate KABC.

Haskell lived there with his wife and three children, as well as his in-laws. The children were found and are being cared for by family members, Los Angeles police said.

But Haskell’s wife and her parents were missing. Authorities started a search and noted their concern.

“The reason we’re concerned with their whereabouts is they would normally be home during these hours,” Gutierrez said last week during a news conference.

“Attempts have been made to contact them by cell phone … no answers. Same with Mei, she is unaccounted for … attempts have been made to call her phone (and) still no answer,” the detective said.

Police said the identification of the torso remains ongoing. But Los Angeles police Capt. Scot Williams said the torso is assumed to be the suspect’s wife, Mei Li Haskell, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Suspect is son of Emmy-winning producer

Haskell is the son of Emmy-winning producer and Hollywood agent Sam Haskell, who served as an agent for Kathie Lee Gifford, Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton, George Clooney and others.

CNN has also reached out to the senior Haskell for comment.

Investigators are also looking for two missing vehicles, including a white Volkswagen Tiguan and a white 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, according to the LAPD news release.

Authorities did not share any details about who the vehicles belong to and how they may be connected in the case.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

The U.S Supreme Court is photographed on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, in Washington. The Supreme Court is ...


Supreme Court will consider when doctors can provide emergency abortions in states with bans

The Supreme Court has allowed the Idaho law to go into effect, even during emergencies, as the case played out.

6 hours ago

One of two controlled detonations of old dynamite is seen in Holladay on April 24, 2024. (KSL TV)...


Crews detonate ‘ancient dynamite’ found in Holladay home

HOLLADAY, Utah — Early Wednesday morning, the Unified Fire Authority Bomb Squad detonated ‘ancient dynamite’ that was found in a Holladay home. The explosives were found in the house near 6200 South and 2300 East and reported on Tuesday evening.  According to Unified Fire Authority Assistant Chief Riley Pilgrim, the explosives were discovered when the […]

6 hours ago

Exterior image of the Ada County courthouse in Boise, Idaho, Monday April 3, 2023. As Chad Daybell'...

Emily Ashcraft,

Ex-husband of Lori Daybell’s niece testifies about an attempt to kill him, identifying JJ’s body

Brandon Boudreaux noticed something was off when he turned onto his street in Gilbert, Arizona, on Oct. 2, 2019.

16 hours ago

FBI agent Douglas Hart, right, testifies Monday about texts between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Da...


‘Angels are angry’: FBI agent describes ‘manipulating’ texts between Lori and Chad Daybell

Testimonies from key people in Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell's life took the stand on Monday, who talked about strange messages from the couple.

2 days ago

us supreme court shown, court hearing case on ghost guns...

MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

Supreme Court will take up the legal fight over ghost guns, firearms without serial numbers

The Supreme Court had previously intervened to keep regulation for gun ghosts in effect during a legal fight over the rules.

2 days ago

former president trump, hush money trial opening statement started monday...


Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

The opening statements in the hush money trial marked the first time that prosecutors have presented a criminal case against a former president to a jury.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Son of Hollywood exec accused of killing wife and her parents hired worker who found body parts in trash, prosecutors say