LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A celebrity family therapist and the ex-fiancée of comedian Drew Carey was murdered early Saturday morning in a Hollywood Hills neighborhood, and a Playa del Rey man has been arrested in the slaying.
Dr. Amie Harwick was killed at her home. Her ex-boyfriend, identified as 41-year-old Gareth Pursehouse, was arrested Saturday afternoon on suspicion of murder, Los Angeles police said Sunday.
Officers responded to a call of a “woman screaming” in the 2000 block of Mound Street in Hollywood Hills at around 1:16 a.m. Saturday, according to authorities. Police said a roommate told officers that the victim was being assaulted in the house.
The victim was found unresponsive below a third story balcony with significant injuries authorities said were “consistent with a fall.” She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
According to the coroner’s office, Harwick died from blunt force injuries of the head and torso. Her death has been ruled a homicide.
Police said they discovered “possible evidence of a struggle” and signs of forced entry and an intruder.
At around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, an FBI-LAPD Fugitive Task Force arrested Pursehouse outside his home in the 8100 block of Cabora Drive in Playa Del Rey.
Harwick “had recently expressed fear about a former boyfriend and had previously filed a restraining order” against him, which had since expired, police said in a news release. Harwick had seen Pursehouse two weeks prior to the killing, police said.
“It was a person whose name would come up over the years as someone she was concerned about,” Robert Coshland, a friend, said. “And she did run into him recently at an event, and he did behave bizarrely and then this happened.”
One of Hardwick’s specialties was helping people who are experiencing domestic violence.
Her longtime friend Rudy Torres told CBS2 that the system failed her.
“The system will not act until something happens, and it’s always too late for them,” Torres said. “It’s always too little too late. I was there when it all started, and they didn’t do much for her then, definitely didn’t do anything for her now.”
Harwick was formerly in a relationship with “Price Is Right” host Carey. A rep for Carey confirmed their engagement in February 2018, according to Entertainment Tonight. Their relationship ended last year.
Harwick had written a book, created podcasts and used social media to talk about her work as a therapist.
“It’s very tough,” Coshland said. “I’m holding it together right now, but it comes in waves.”
Pursehouse is being held on $2 million bail. Investigators are presenting their case to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office for charges.