Woman found dead in Merced dumpster identified, suspect arrested

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Lijun Wang's body was found behind the Rite Aid back on February 6, and police believe they have her killer. (KFSN)

Police say a Bay Area woman found dead in a Merced dumpster is likely the victim of human trafficking.

Lijun Wang's body was found behind the Rite Aid back on February 6, and police believe they have her killer. It took two months to find him roughly 200 miles away, but Merced police say 50-year-old William Li is finally behind bars.

"It's very gratifying," Sgt. Curtis Gorman with the Merced Police Department said.

On Friday, Li was arrested in San Francisco. He's accused of murdering a woman and leaving her body in a Merced dumpster in February.

D.J. Turner was the first to find her body.

"I was recycling and happened to see a dead body in a dumpster when I ripped open the bag," he said. "I freaked out. I jumped out of the trash can and jumped out to see if someone would help me identify - to see if it was a real body or not."

Turner spoke to Action News on February 6, the day the G Street Rite Aid became a crime scene.

"It's just sad because you don't know what happened," he said. "You don't know how they got there."

But now we know more, investigators revealed the victim as 30-year-old Lijun Wang. She's a Chinese immigrant who came to the U.S. legally in 2016, and authorities say they're confident she was the victim of human trafficking.


They won't say how her body ended up in a Merced dumpster but are relieved to bring this case to a close.

"You don't find a body in there, you shouldn't find bodies in there either," Turner said.

Police say they were able to link Wang and Li based on cell phone records. They served two search warrants and one in San Francisco and at his San Mateo business where they found more evidence linking him to the homicide.

Related Topics:
newsmerced countyhomicide investigationMerced
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