ROLLING HILLS ESTATES (CBSLA) – A transient man who was detained in connection with the stabbing death of a 66-year-old woman in a mall parking garage in Rolling Hills Estates last week has been released from custody, and investigators disclosed Tuesday that they do not believe her murder was random in nature.
In a Facebook Live event, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced that a man who was detained in connection with the murder of Susan Leeds of Rancho Palos Verdes was released from custody. No other suspects have been identified.
“We believe that some of the information that we have obtained is positive, and that leads us to believe that this incident wasn’t a random act,” sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Moore said Tuesday.
At 12:22 p.m. on May 3, deputies found Leeds stabbed to death in a Mercedes SUV in a parking structure for the Promenade on the Peninsula Mall, located in the 500 block of Deep Valley Drive. She had been stabbed in the torso several times.
Using surveillance video, detectives identified a person of interest in the case and released a photo of the man, who was believed to be a known transient in the South Bay. He was taken into custody May 4 on an unrelated charge in the 1600 block of Pacific Coast Highway in Harbor City, the sheriff’s department said. He was then interviewed about the killing.
“At the time of the interview, there was insufficient evidence to link that individual to the crime, and he was not charged,” Moore said. “He was eventually released from the sheriff’s department custody, and he currently in a suitable facility, obtaining appropriate care from providers.”
The sheriff’s department did not elaborate. The man’s name was not released. However, last week, South Bay store owners told CBS2 that the man is a known transient who has had several run-ins with businesses in the area.
Palos Verdes Peninsula has not seen a murder since 2009.