[symple_googlemap title=”” location=”200 block of Mauna Loa Drive, Monrovia, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

A man was charged Tuesday with murdering his girlfriend, whose body was found Sunday afternoon in an SUV behind her Monrovia home.

Joel Velazquez, 49, is accused in the death of 46-year-old Alice Medina- Kaplan, whose body was found in the 200 block of Mauna Loa Drive about 3:50 p.m. Sunday.

The woman’s father, Raymond Medina, told NBC4 that his daughter was mentally ill and had been living in her vehicle since April, when she left a treatment center where she met the defendant.

Authorities detained Velazquez at the scene. His parents had called deputies at the sheriff’s Industry Station and said they were worried about their son and his girlfriend.

Maria Cortes told KCAL9 that 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.”

Cortes said 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 NBC4  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.

Velazquez is set to be arraigned Oct. 22 at the Pasadena Courthouse.

City News Service

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