LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) — A veteran Los Angeles County deputy probation officer was killed in what investigators believe was a random attack inside her Southern California home over the weekend, authorities said Tuesday.
Investigators have not been able to determine the identity of the suspect and prosecutors have filed charges against him in a “John Doe” complaint in the slaying of Paula Lind in her Lancaster home.
He faces one count each of murder, assault with intent to commit rape during a residential burglary, residential burglary and sexual contact with deceased remains. The criminal complaint states that a shotgun was used in the violence.
“That this officer who dedicated her career to public safety fell victim to senseless and depraved violence in her home is beyond tragic,” LA District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
Prosecutors also filed special of residential use of a firearm and burglary with a person present. He is scheduled to be arranged on Tuesday afternoon. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The man allegedly shattered a sliding door at the back of Lind’s home on Sunday and attacked her, according to Lt. Michael Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau.
Lind, a 16-year veteran of the agency, “was a victim of a home invasion where she suffered fatal injuries,” the LA County Probation Department said in a statement Monday.
Lind and the suspect did not appear to know each other, Gomez said. The suspect is an unhoused man who lives in the Lancaster area, Gomez said.
Lind suffered severe head trauma and was declared dead at the scene on Sunday.
“Our hearts are heavy today,” Chief Probation Officer Adolfo Gonzales said in Monday’s statement. “Our officers work daily to help folks start over and rebuild their lives; their work helps keep communities safe. It is horrifying to hear that one of our beloved officers passed in this manner.”
The probation department’s honor guard escorted Lind’s remains in a procession to the county coroner’s office.
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