Please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 with any information related to this crime. If you prefer to report information anonymously, please either contact "Crime Stoppers" at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), download the "P3 Tips" mobile app available on Google Play and the Apple App store, or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org
Tuesday, May 8, 2018- Statement from the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council about the Murder of Susan Leeds
The murder committed in the neighboring community of Rolling Hills Estates last week has shaken the entire Palos Verdes Peninsula and our residents. The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council and Staff offer their deepest sympathy to the family and friends of our resident and neighbor, Susan Leeds, as they cope with their sudden and senseless loss.
We are universally outraged by this heinous crime and we all share a deep concern for the safety of the entire Peninsula community.
The City Council and our Staff continue to work directly with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to track developments related to this crime. As an active investigation, there is a limit to that which can be shared at any particular moment. The desire on the part of the public for the latest information is understandable, and we are sharing what is appropriate at the earliest opportunity.
There is nothing that suggests an on-going threat to the community related to this crime. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell has stated that this case has the highest priority and his Department is working diligently in pursuit of a resolution to the case. Nevertheless, residents are encouraged to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, and to report suspicious persons or activity to law enforcement.
We are especially thankful for the assistance and support provided by Captain Dan Beringer and the Lomita Sheriff’s Station in keeping the Peninsula community informed about the on-going investigation. We are also confident that justice will be served soon.
Susan Brooks, Mayor
Jerry Duhovic, Mayor Pro Tem
Eric Alegria, Councilmember
John Cruikshank, Councilmember
Ken Dyda, Councilmember
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - Facebook Live Update
Yesterday, the City and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department (LASD) jointly held a Facebook Live event regarding the Rolling Hills Estates homicide investigation. The intent was to provide the community with a summary of the incident, clarify some facts about the ongoing investigation, and demonstrate to the community how seriously we are all taking this shocking crime. Our thanks again to LASD for agreeing to participate on such short notice.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this live discussion, especially those who asked questions during the event and sent us direct messages on Facebook. We are working on improving the audio quality in the video and will make the recording available on this webpage: rhe.city/crimeupdate.
We realize there are many questions and concerns right now. There have been over 6,000 views of yesterday's Facebook Live video and over 1,050 Comments on it. The outpouring of engagement is a testament to how closely knit this community is and how much this senseless crime has affected us all. Working together with LASD, we will continue to make public safety our highest priority. We also hope everyone will understand that, since this is an active investigation, the LASD must follow their protocol and there are simply some details they cannot share at this time.
As details become available from LASD for public knowledge, the City will make every effort to keep the community informed through our website at rhe.city/crimeupdate, our email notifications, our Facebook Page, our Nextdoor Agency Page, and/or our Instagram account. Please sign up for email notifications and/or Like & Follow our social media sites to receive those updates.
The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with information to call LASD Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - Facebook Live event Hosted by the City of Rolling Hills Estates
The City of Rolling Hills Estates will host a Facebook Live event at 6:00 PM regarding the investigation of last week's homicide at the Promenade on the Peninsula. The event will include individuals from LASD's Homicide Bureau, Lomita Sheriff's Station Captain Dan Beringer and Rolling Hills Estates City Manager Doug Prichard. The video of the event will remain on Rolling Hills Estates' Facebook page after the live stream, and will also be posted on the City's website at www.rhe.city/crimeupdate
The City of Rolling Hills Estates has fielded many inquiries from the press related to the live event. The message shared by the City and the Sheriff's Department (LASD) is that the media will not be allowed into the area where the event occurred since it is a tight space and and its is the intent of the event to stay focused on the community interests and questions. This Facebook Live event is not prompted by any breaking news and is not meant to be a news conference. Rather, it is a chance for the community to hear directly from City leadership and LASD, as well as to ask questions. The real message being conveyed is one of community transparency and a unique effort to engage the public in a medium they are used to using. The City of RHE allowed media to film B-roll footage before the live stream. The RHE City Manager will answer questions related to the why RHE decided to reach out to the community this way. Any questions about the status of the investigation will be referred to the Sheriff’s Department.
Monday, May 7, 2018 - Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Update
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide detectives continue to investigate the murder of a Rancho Palos Verdes resident, who was found stabbed in her parked vehicle on May 3, 2018, in the parking structure at 501 Deep Valley Drive, Rolling Hills Estates. Investigators are pursuing all possible leads, while the Sheriff’s Crime Lab continues to process and analyze physical evidence. The investigation into a person of interest, detained last Friday morning, also continues. He was transported to a suitable facility where he is receiving the appropriate level of care. No one has been named a suspect at this point, and no arrests for the crime have been made.
This type of crime in our community is highly unusual. We want to assure community members the peninsula enjoys low crime and is a safe place. Some have expressed concern there was not an immediate lockdown of the area schools or surrounding shopping areas when the incident was first reported. Responding deputies had no immediate workable information as to the description of a suspect, a vehicle, or a direction of travel. Based upon the information we had at the time, an assessment was made regarding any immediate threat to public safety. There was no indication the suspect was still in the area, or that there was a threat to the surrounding schools and businesses. As the deputies canvassed the area for witnesses, this assessment continued.
As the investigation progresses, we still believe this to be an isolated incident. In the event any credible threat to public safety is identified, the information will be shared with the community immediately.
The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with information to call LASD Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Saturday, May 5, 2018 - Los Angeles County Sheriff's Update
On May 3, 2018, the tragic murder of a resident in your community occurred. Lomita Station personnel, Homicide detectives along with support staff responded in order to investigate this crime. Several biological and physical pieces of evidence from the crime scene were collected and are being processed.
During the preliminary stages of the investigation, a person of interest was developed. That individual’s photo was placed on a flyer and distributed to various news outlets via the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. Yesterday (May 4, 2018), the person of interest was located with the help of community members.
The person of interest was detained by law enforcement personnel and was subsequently arrested for an unrelated charge. He was booked at Lomita Sheriff’s Station for the unrelated charge. While in custody, the person of interest was interviewed by homicide detectives regarding the murder. Pursuant to a warrant, the personal property of the person of interest was processed for any potential physical evidence.
At the time of the interview, sufficient evidence was not present in order to warrant an arrest of the person of interest for the murder. The examination of evidence obtained from him is on-going and he remains a person of interest.
Additionally, detectives are currently following up on several dozen leads which were developed through the investigation or provided to detectives by community members. A public announcement of specific evidence collected or relevant information developed will be disseminated to the public when appropriate and beneficial to aid in a successful investigative outcome. Premature exposure of unverified, unconfirmed, or non-collaborated information can be extremely detrimental to the overall success of the investigation.
Although this crime was violent in nature, and the motive remains unknown, the Peninsula remains one of the safest communities in the county of Los Angeles with the crime rate ranked as one of the lowest for areas policed by the Sheriff’s Department. However, it is imperative that community members remain vigilant and notify law enforcement of any observed suspicious activity.
Detectives look forward to working with community members to find the perpetrator of this heinous crime and ensure justice for the victim and her family. Please keep the family members directly affected by this event in your thoughts.
Please contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 with any information related to this crime.
For original details of the incident use the following facebook link:
Friday, May 4, 2018 Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Update
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Homicide Detectives distributed a photo of a person of interest in yesterday’s murder. Los Angeles Police Department detained a man matching the description at PCH and President Street in Harbor City within the last hour. The individual is now at Lomita Station. This is only a person of interest, who was possibly in the area of the shopping center yesterday. He has not been named as a suspect at this point in the investigation. If you have further information, please share with LASD Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a crime scene in the parking structure of the Promenade on the Peninsula shopping center and are treating it as a homicide.