Example of a knife, not the one in story. Photo via Pixabay

The alleged killer of a neighbor who was stabbed and shot was being held Thursday in lieu of $2 million bail and will go before a judge next month in Norwalk.

The girlfriend of 37-year-old Richard Melzar discovered his bloody body in the backyard of their Downey home in the 12200 block of Horley Avenue, said Downey Police Lt. Alex Irizabal.

Melzar appeared to have been stabbed and possibly shot, he said.

Based on evidence at the scene and witness statements, detectives arrested 31-year-old Robert Joseph Benitez Jr., who lives with his girlfriend in the home behind the Melzar’s on the same property, police said.

Benitez’s girlfriend is the sister of the Melzar’s girlfriend, police added.

Police did not immediately disclose what evidence was found in the investigation or the nature of the witness statements, and the motive for the killing was under investigation.

Benitez was arrested outside his girlfriend’s parents’ home in Whittier, Irizabal said. He was booked on suspicion of murder, the lieutenant said.

[symple_googlemap title=”Downey homicide victim ID’d” location=”12200 block of Horley Avenue, Downey, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”16″]

—City News Service

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