A man whose identity has not been determined was charged Tuesday with murder and other counts stemming from the apparent beating death of a veteran Los Angeles County deputy probation officer in her Lancaster home.
The man accused in Paula Lind’s killing at her Barrymore Avenue home on Sunday is charged in a “John Doe” complaint with one count each of murder, assault with intent to commit rape during a residential burglary, first-degree residential burglary and sexual contact with deceased remains, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
The charges include allegations of personal use of a firearm and first-degree residential burglary with a person present.
Prosecutors are asking that the man — whose identity is unknown — be held without bail, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The man was detained by deputies who responded to the 45500 block of Barrymore Avenue at 12:05 a.m. Sunday, and he was arrested later that day, Lt. Mike Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau told City News Service.
Authorities believe the man broke into the residence, but a motive was unclear, Gomez said.
Lind, 52, died at the scene, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office reported. An autopsy was pending to determine her cause of death.
According to the county Probation Department, Lind was a 16-year veteran of the agency.
“Our hearts are heavy today,” county Chief Probation Officer Adolfo Gonzales said in a statement. “Our officers work daily to help folks start over and rebuild their lives. Their work helps keep communities safe. It is horrifying to hear that one of our beloved officers passed in this manner. I am hopeful that the individual responsible for this attack will be held accountable and that justice will prevail. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lind family, loved ones, and friends.”
Deputies were sent to the Barrymoore Avenue residence on a “burglary/home invasion call,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s department.
“When deputies arrived, they found the victim … unresponsive and suffering from blunt head trauma,” according to a sheriff’s department statement. “The victim was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.”
“A male who was discovered in the house has been currently detained,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement on Sunday.
AFSCME Local 685, the union representing deputy probation officers, announced on Facebook Sunday that the victim was one of its members.
“One of our DPO II was found deceased early this morning at her residence in Antelope Valley,” according to the union. “… The preliminary information is that she may be a victim of homicide. … Meanwhile, please pray for family during this tragic event.”
In a statement on Monday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger called Lind’s death “a tragic loss of life.”
“She was a public servant that dedicated her life’s work to helping effect positive change in the lives of the probationers she supervised,” Barger said. “The perpetrator responsible for this brutal attack must be held accountable and brought to justice. I will continue to track the outcome of this investigation closely.”
In a statement announcing the criminal case, District Attorney George Gascón said, “The murder of Officer Lind has shocked all of Los Angeles County, and we in the District Attorney’s Office extend our condolences to her family, friends and Probation Department colleagues. That this officer who dedicated her career to public safety fell victim to senseless and depraved violence in her home is beyond tragic. We will do all in our power to hold the person responsible for this to account.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lind was assigned to Barry J. Nidorf juvenile hall in Sylmar. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Times that the woman had just come home from work when the attack happened.
Anyone with information on the crime was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.