Temecula stabbing victim was aspiring singer
02:38 PM PST on Saturday, February 14, 2009
By JOHN ASBURY
Elizabeth "Bipsy" Amirian illustrated her dreams through her music.
She showed her deeply spiritual side, spoke of playing her songs at her wedding and said she planned to release an album.
But now her music will only live on through her MySpace page and YouTube.
Miss Amirian, 27, of Temecula, was killed Thursday afternoon on the third level of the parking garage at The Promenade mall in Temecula after police said she was stabbed in a mini-van.
Miss Amirian was a rising singer and piano player of spiritual and pop music at local coffeehouses after working as a barista at the now-
closed Java Joz and Cuppy's Coffeehouse in Murrieta.
She was known as "Bipsy," said Bill Gould, concert promoter with Murrieta-based Full Value Entertainment, who knew Miss Amirian for three years.
"She was a fabulous songwriter and performer. She was very worldly, especially in Temecula, which is its own world in a bubble," Gould
said. "This is so stunning. It's not fair for a girl who tried so hard to be positive. I'm at a loss for words."
Police arrested Miss Amirian's boyfriend, Mickey David Beauchamp Wagstaff, 25, of Pala in San Diego County, on suspicion of murder, said Sgt. Michael Lujan of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Central Homicide unit.
A Temecula police officer patrolling the garage went to check on the occupied vehicle, where he found Miss Amirian stabbed and Wagstaff
Wagstaff was placed under arrest but remained hospitalized under deputy supervision Friday after suffering injuries in the stabbing and
from the Taser police used on him while he resisted arrest, Lujan said.
Detectives said the case stemmed from a domestic dispute, but they said they have not determined a motive. There were no witnesses to
the attack, Lujan said.
On Miss Amirian's MySpace profile, she writes of her love of a Hebrew God and about attending Bible college in Texas. In a blog dated Jan. 13, Miss Amirian said she planned to release an album in a month.
Miss Amirian's music centers on piano ballads, influenced by world music. She explained the stories behind each of her songs, many of which derived from dreams she had.
In the song "Beautiful," Miss Amirian said she dreamed of playing the song at her future wedding while looking at her husband.
"There's nowhere for me to run from you/nowhere for me to hide/after all these years you're finally here in my life/all these times I've cried."
TEMECULA: Stabbing victim's
music lives on
Vocalist killed last week in Temecula mall parking lot
By AARON CLAVERIE - Staff Writer | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 7:44 PM PST
Michael and Cheryl Plato, the parents of slain Temecula-based vocalist Elizabeth Amirian, said earlier this week that they recently acquired
the master recordings that their daughter had made for her first CD, which she had been planning to release in March ---- a quantum of solace for the grieving family.
"She had been looking forward to the release of that CD for most of her life," said her stepfather, Michael Plato.
Amirian, 27, a singer/songwriter known to fans, friends and family as "Bipsy," was fatally stabbed Thursday afternoon during a struggle inside a minivan parked on the third floor of a parking structure on the east side of the mall.
The alleged assailant, Mickey David Beauchamp Wagstaff, Amirian's 24-year-old fiance, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Wagstaff, who officers say refused to exit the minivan, was stunned by a Taser gun, pulled out of the vehicle and arrested by a Temecula patrol officer who had witnessed the pair struggling inside.
Amirian was found bound at the ankles and she was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities have said.
Wagstaff, accused of stabbing Amirian multiple times, lived in a housing tract in Pala on land in San Diego County bracketed by the Pechanga and Pala reservations.
The Riverside County district attorney's office plans to charge Wagstaff with first-degree murder with special circumstances including kidnapping during Wagstaff's arraignment on Wednesday.
Because of the special circumstances allegations, prosecutors may seek the death penalty. District Attorney Rod Pacheco will review the case and decide whether to seek a death sentence.
Explaining the rationale for the kidnapping special enhancement, deputy district attorney Jess Walsh said evidence will show that Wagstaff restrained Amirian multiple times in multiple locations before he killed her on Thursday.
"Factually speaking, she was in the van and then he wouldn't let her leave the van," he said.
Walsh said Amirian's feet were bound by a man's dress shirt.
Wagstaff has given police officers a statement, Walsh said, but investigators have not yet offered a motive for the attack.
"Hopefully, we'll have more information as time goes on," he said.
Wagstaff is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bail. Before he was booked, he was taken to a hospital for self-inflicted wounds, according to a district attorney's office news release.
On Wednesday night, Amirian's friends and family will be holding a special youth service at the Community Church of the Valley in Temecula.
The service, scheduled for 7 p.m., will be led by the church's youth pastor, Issac Amirian, Elizabeth's brother.
Amirian's CD, "BattleCry," will be released after legal matters related to the stabbing are settled, Michael Plato said.
Plato married Amiran's mother, Cheryl, in the late 1990s and the family settled in Temecula in 1997.
Elizabeth Amirian, who attended one year of high school in North Carolina, enrolled at Chaparral High School in Temecula as a sophomore, winning a talent show that first year in her new school. She graduated with her classmates in 2000, a member of the school's first graduating class.
Cheryl Plato said she divorced Amirian's father when her daughter was 12. He died after the family moved to California, Michael Plato said.
Amirian was a self-taught piano and keyboard player. On her MySpace page, she described her music on her MySpace page as a mix-tape
blend of Misty Edwards, Rita Springer, Joel Chernoff, Evanescence, Plumb and Tori Amos.
Plato said he and her mom tried to get her lessons at one point but she told them that the structure "threw her out of rhythm."
Amirian had no problem making friends, he said, because she was open and friendly and quick with a smile.
"She had a tremendous sense of humor," Michael Plato said. "Anyone could make her laugh."
When she wasn't working on her music, Plato said she liked to travel and talk about her faith on missionary tours.
Amirian was what Plato called a "wild child" before she found a new path during a visit to a Christian youth camp in Virginia.
"If it was bad, she did it. She got so bad her mom sent her to the camp even though Bipsy told her she'd hate her forever," he said.
About a week later, Amirian wrote her parents a letter, saying that she had been saved.
Michael Plato said Wagstaff, who has a twin brother, sort of fixated on Amiran.
After dating for about a year, the pair were engaged about a year and a half ago and they were set to get married in the first part of March.
As of Feb. 9, the last time Cheryl Plato saw her daughter, everything seemed fine, she said.
Michael Plato said neither he nor his wife saw any clear warning signs.
"We haven't got a clue there. We really haven't got a clue," he said. "He came over for Thanksgiving dinner. On the surface, he seemed like a quiet, nice easygoing kind of guy."
Wagstaff's online friends, who have posted messages on his brother's MySpace page, also seem surprised by the slaying and arrest.
One friend's sentiments were expressed only as "(Name withheld) is shocked."
Memorial services for Amirian will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at Community Church of the Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to Community Church of the Valley, which will forward them to Bethel Missions of India.
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