BIG BEAR (CBSLA.com) — Authorities arrested a 56-year-old man Saturday after sheriff’s divers found the bodies of his girlfriend and her dog inside a vehicle submerged in Big Bear Lake.
Ronald Hitchcock was allegedly found soaking wet in Meadow Park near the lake. The park was locked and Hitchcock was struggling to get out when deputies arrived.
The suspect told them his car had just gone into the lake.
Deputies searched the lake and found the car at the bottom of the lake with 53-year-old Deborah Crouch and her dog inside. They placed Hitchcock under arrest shortly thereafter.
Authorities have not said whether Crouch was killed before or after the car entered the water. Coroner’s officials have not yet released a cause of death.
Neighbors said they are stunned by Crouch’s death. They said the pair lived together.
“I was in shock. I can’t believe this happened close to my house. It’s just crazy,” neighbor Bryan Seaman said.