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Man Found Dead in Montana Avenue Apartment, Victim of 2nd Santa Monica Homicide

By Lookout Staff

March 20 -- In what is the second homicide victim discovered in Santa Monica in four days, a man was found dead in his Montana Avenue condo Wednesday night after his mother had failed to contact him for several days, police said.

The victim has been identified as Alexander Merman, according to police. Merman is 35 years old and lived alone.

The victim apparently died as a result of blunt force trauma, said Lt. Alex Padilla, the Police Department spokesman. Police do not know how long the victim had been dead.

Police do not believe the case is related to the homicide of Juliana Redding, a 21-year-old aspiring model found dead in her Santa Monica apartment on the 1500 block of Centinela Avenue Sunday afternoon.

The Los Angeles County Coroners Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Merman’s body was found after police responded to the apartment complex he lived in on the 500 block of the upscale commercial strip at 8 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a telephone call from the apartment complex manager, who had gone into the victim’s apartment to check on his well being.

“The building manager had been asked by the victim’s mother to check on his status, as the mother had not been able to get in contact with her son for several days,” Padilla said.

According to his web site "Sasha's Illusions," Alexander "Sasha" Merman was born in Moscow, Russia on October 24, 1972. Merman grew up in a communist regime until 1985, when he immigrated to Los Angeles with his mother, according to the site.

After completing junior high and high schools in Los Angeles, Merman joined the U.S.Navy in 1992 and later began working on a portfolio "with a goal of pursuing an education in visual arts," according to the web site.

"Sasha Merman’s unorthodox artistic style combines Dali’s bizarre surrealism, M.C. Escher’s three-dimensional illusions and Giger’s eery erotic imagery with the modern influences of urban L.A. culture," according to the web site.

"The divulgement of his artistic ideas is aided by the use of unconventional surfaces to create an inimitable expression of the artist’s stream of consciousness."

The discovery of Merman's body comes four days after Redding was also found dead in her Santa Monica apartment after her mother tried unsuccessfully to contact her and called police.

Redding was the apparent victim of assault, police said.

The results of Redding’s autopsy have been placed on security hold by police, and the investigation is ongoing.

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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