Woman in Trunk Was Murdered With Hammer
March 10, 2009
VALLEY VILLAGE — A 24-year-old man has been arraigned on murder charges in the death of his girlfriend 22-year-old Denise Figueroa.
Figueroa was bludgeoned to death with a hammer, District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
An anonymous fax sent to KTLA’s newsroom included the names of two possible suspects — Christopher Bullock and Adele Chapel.
Chapel, of Santa Monica, was arrested Monday in Figueroa’s murder.
He’s charged with one count of murder, with a special allegation that he personally used a deadly weapon, Robison said.
Chapel is currently in LAPD custody for a carjacking that occurred in West Los Angeles in late February.
He was arrested by detectives on March 3, 2009 in the City of Santa Monica.
Chapel remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail pending his next court appearance March 26 in Figueroa’s murder.
He is also under investigation for a series of violent crimes throughout the San Fernando Valley that have occurred within the last few weeks.
Figueroa was found shortly before 2:00 p.m. Saturday in the trunk of her black Nissan Altima in the 11700 block of Hortense Street, police said.
Police went to the address after being contacted by KTLA that the newsroom had received a fax addressed “To whom it may concern” from “someone trying to help.”
The fax stated that a homicide had been committed February 28 and described an area where the car and the body could be found (see below for full text of the fax):
The fax said the body was in a black trash bag in the trunk of the car.
Investigators were trying to track down the sender and the people named as suspects in the fax.
Figueroa apparently left a relative’s residence on February 28 and didn’t return as planned.
The family later reported her missing.
Speaking to the media, Lt. Alan Hamilton said, “Something occurred inside the vehicle,” but declined to give details.
He said the car was being taken to a secure facility where authorities will conduct a thorough investigation of it.
Police say the second man named in the fax, Christopher Bullock, has been questioned and released. They’re looking for the person who sent the fax in an effort to learn more about the circumstances of Figueroa’s death.
The fax read:
“To Whom it May Concern:
Adel Chapel is believed to have killed Denise Figueroa on Feb. 28. She should be reported missing by her family. The vehicle was cleaned up by Adel Chapel and his friend Christopher Bullock, her body is in the trunk of her car is (SIC) a black trash bag. Which should be located in about 1.2-2 square mile radius of 11911 Magnolia Blvd., Apt. 7, Valley Village, CA 91607
Someone trying to help”
You can donate to the: The Denise Figueroa Memorial Fund by contacting Wells Fargo or Paypal under that Fund name.