A homeless man suspected of killing an actor found dead in the Hollywood Hills home of friend and Canadian TV talk show host George Stroumboulopoulos was in custody Tuesday.
The suspect was arrested Monday out of state, Los Angeles police told reporters at the scene of the crime. He is in his early 20s with a violent criminal history and was tracked down with evidence found during the investigation, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Cory Palka said.
“It is the result of evidence obtained that the suspect left at scene,” Palka said. “It is the result of cameras that the community had. They were able to track him down and make an arrest … He does have a criminal history. He has a couple of violent crimes that he’s been arrested for.”
The suspect, whose name was not released, is expected to be extradited to California within 48 hours, police told reporters.
“The manner in which he committed the crime was brutal,” Palka said, adding that the 41-year-old actor “was bludgeoned to death.”
The victim was found at 2:17 a.m. on Sept. 23 as officers investigated a reported burglary in the 6700 block of Milner Road, said LAPD Officer Drake Madison of the department’s Media Relations Division.
The coroner’s office said the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries and confirmed that the victim was Richard Hong of Los Angeles. His next of kin were notified in Canada.
Police said the suspect was seen wearing a black jacket fleeing the area the morning of the homicide. He was described as black, about 5 feet 8 with a thin build and short black hair, according to Madison.
The Whitley Terrace Association homeowner’s group told NBC4 the man was seen casing the area for weeks before the killing. The association turned over surveillance video to the LAPD showing the suspect in the area, according to NBC4.
“Many of you have seen the reports of a homicide, which occurred early this morning in the home I rent in Los Angeles,” Stroumboulopoulos wrote in a statement on Sept. 23.
“The victim was a dear friend of mine, who was staying at my place while I was away,” Stroumboulopoulos said. “I am heartbroken.”
Stroumboulopoulos hosted the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. TV talk show “George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight,” which was previously titled “The Hour” from 2005 to 2014. He also hosted an hourlong talk show on CNN in 2013.
—City News Service