Van Nuys Man Arrested in the Stabbing Death of His Wife

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Van Nuys man was arrested Monday in Las Vegas after he allegedly murdered his wife and then skipped town, Los Angeles police said.

Lusik( (Lucy) Khach-Papikyan, 35, was found stabbed to death early Sunday morning in the Van Nuys apartment she shared with her husband, Grant Papikyan, 35. Police allege that Papikyan killed his wife, then fled to a Las Vegas hotel, where he called local police to alert them to his wife's body back in the San Fernando Valley.

Authorities said that Los Angeles police officers picked up Papikyan in Las Vegas without incident. He is being held without bail and will be extradited back to Van Nuys, Los Angeles Police Detective Tom Nolan said.

At the multiunit apartment complex where Khach-Papikyan's body was found, neighbors said Khach-Papikyan sometimes seemed worried, but they could not pinpoint a cause.

"She would sometimes open her curtains all the way . . . and then stand outside her door," neighbor Judy Stanch said. "She acted like she was trying to tell us something."

Nolan said that about 1:30 a.m. Sunday officers were called to the Emerald Isle apartment complex near Woodman Avenue and Oxnard Street, where they found Khach-Papikyan's body inside her apartment, which was in disarray. Khach-Papikyan apparently gave her killer a struggle, police said.

Neighbors said Khach-Papikyan, who worked as a cook, was quiet and friendly, seemingly always on her way to work as her unemployed husband stayed home. Neighbors said Khach-Papikyan had a daughter who would frequently visit the apartment.

The building's manager said that the couple had lived in the complex for about two months and never caused any problems, usually saying little to other tenants. Neighbors said they never heard loud noises coming from the apartment.

On one occasion, Khach-Papikyan emerged from her apartment late at night and stared at a group of residents who sat in the complex's courtyard playing cards, said neighbor Angela Wilkins.

"She looked at us like she wanted to come out and play cards," Wilkins said. "But when we invited her she just went back inside."

Wilkins, who lived downstairs from the couple, said a neighbor heard screams the night of the killing but did not call police.

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