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Homicide Victim Stabbed to Death, Coroner Concludes

By Jorge Casuso

March 24 -- Alexander Merman, who was found dead in his Santa Monica condo last week, died of multiple stab wounds, according to the Los Angeles County Coroners Office.

The findings of the autopsy conducted Saturday dispelled a report in the Los Angeles Times that Merman had been shot to death. Police had reported that Merman died as a result of "blunt force trauma."

It is not known how long Merman was dead before his body was found, police said. The coroners office has not determined the time of death.

There was no sign of forced entry, said Lt. Alex Padilla, the Police Department spokesman.

No suspects have been arrested, Padilla said.

A 35-year-old artist, Merman was found dead in his condo on the 500 block of Montana Avenue Wednesday night, the second homicide victim in the seaside city in one week.

Juliana Redding, a 21-year-old aspiring model, was found dead in her Santa Monica apartment on the 1500 block of Centinela Avenue four days earlier.

The results of Redding’s autopsy have not been released at the request of Santa Monica police, said Ed Winter, assistant chief at the coroners office.

Police said Redding was the apparent victim of assault.

Both victims were found after their mothers failed to contact them for several days, police said. The cases are not related.

Merman’s body was found after police responded to the complex he lived in Wednesday at 8 p.m. after receiving a telephone call from the building manager, who had entered the unit to check on Merman's well being.

Anyone with additional information on either case should call the Santa Monica Police Department at 310.458-8427 (24 hours) or call Detectives at 310.458.8451 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463).





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