WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A 30-year-old woman was found dead inside her West Hollywood apartment Thursday and homicide detectives believe the woman was killed by her live-in boyfriend.
CBS2’s Tom Wait said there was a “small army” of homicide detectives on scene.
The slaying occurred on the 8500 block of Holloway Drive, near busy Santa Monica and La Cienga Boulevards.
Officials arrived on scene about 11:30 a.m.
Authorities told Wait that blunt force trauma was the cause of death.
On Thursday evening, officials identified the victim as 30-year-old Iana Kasian. She was declared dead at the location.
“My girlfriend was getting ready for work and heard screaming,” said a neighbor, “to me, it sounded very similar to what just happened a little while ago. Someone had come up, I believe it was her mother, and saw the body. Her reaction verbally, like out loud, that’s kind of what was happening this morning.”
Wait spoke to numerous neighbors who thought the screaming might have been a TV playing so no one called authorities.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department said they were responding to a call from the woman’s mother who said she had not heard from her daughter.
During a subsequent welfare check at the woman’s third-floor apartment, deputies found the woman in the bedroom unresponsive after saying the woman’s boyfriend initially refused to let them in.
The suspect, Blake Leibel, 35, lived with the victim at the location. The couple had a child together, deputies said.
That child, reports Wait was born only four weeks ago.
It was also unclear how long Kasian was dead before her body was discovered.
“He had barricaded himself in the apartment,” said Lt. Dave Coleman, a sheriff’s department public information officer, “he placed furniture and bedding all around the apartment to prevent us from entering.”
Wait says that Leibel has an IMDB.com page that says he has worked as a writer, director and animator.
Detectives continue to hunt for a motive. They also taped off his car while searching for clues.
No weapons have been recovered.
Officials told Wait the 4-week-old baby was safe with relatives.
The investigation is on-going.