ROLLING HILLS ESTATES (CBSLA) — A man was taken into custody Friday for questioning in the murder of a woman in a parking garage in Rolling Hills Estates.
Sheriff’s deputies confirmed the man taken into custody resembled the person who had been captured on security video near where a woman, identified as Susan Leeds of Rancho Palos Verdes, was found stabbed to death in her parked Mercedes SUV. The man is a known transient in the South Bay.
Leeds, 66, was found in the front seat of her vehicle inside the Promenade’s parking garage just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Promenade shopping mall in the 500 block of Deep Valley Drive.
Leeds was pronounced dead at the scene. She had been stabbed several times in the torso.
CBS2’s Michele Gile spoke to many people who remembered Leeds as a kind, loving soul.
Investigators say the stabbing appears to be random. The killing has sent shock waves throughout the Palos Verdes Peninsula, which hasn’t seen a murder since 2009.
The sheriff’s department released an image of a man they say is a person of interest in the killing. The security video still was of an unshaven man in a red and black baseball cap and black jacket, holding a cup of coffee and walking into a nearby salon.
Authorities said Friday evening that the man was arrested on an unrelated charge Officials said sufficient evidence “was not developed” to arrest him for the homicide.
CBS2’s Peter Daut said the man remains behind bars and is well-known to law enforcement.
Local store owners said they have had frequent run-ins with the man and described him as “dangerous.”
Daut spoke to Chris Balonek of “Bay Cities Crime Watch” who has been tracking the person of interest for several months. He says the man is connected to more than a dozen other crimes.
“He’s dangerous,” Balonek said, “he has a criminal record.” He said the man was arrested a few weeks ago for accosting two teenage girls.
“This guy has been able to travel around the South Bay, relatively unscathed despite the fact he’s been behaving this way for several months,” Balonek said.
Anyone with information about the crime can call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)