A man was booked Monday on suspicion of murder for the death of his girlfriend, whose body was found in an SUV behind her Monrovia home.
Joel Velasquez, 49, was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, the sheriff’s department reported.
The body of Alice Medina-Kaplan, 46, was found in the 200 block of Mauna Loa Drive about 3:50 p.m. Sunday, according to sheriff’s deputies and the coroner’s office. The woman’s father, Raymond Medina, told NBC4 that she was mentally ill and had been living in her vehicle since April, when she left a treatment center where she met the man.
Authorities detained Velasquez at the scene. His parents had called deputies at the sheriff’s Industry Station and said they were worried about him and his girlfriend.
Maria Cortes told KCAL9 News her son told her by telephone and text message that he was hurting himself and that it was too late for his girlfriend.
“It was terrible, really terrible. He cut his arms,” Cortes said.”I guess she drank a beer or something or had some drinks and he just like really lost it. He was trying to make her quiet. I guess he choked her,” she said.
Cortes told KCAL9 that her son and his alleged victim both suffered from mental illness.”My whole life I’ve been trying to help him, to get help. Never in a million years would I believe this was going to happen, never,” she said.
Monrovia police told Channel 4 they had been to the address at least five times this year on reports of domestic violence. Earlier, sheriff’s Deputy Amber Smith said Medina-Kaplan was apparently strangled. An autopsy was pending.
— City News Service