Saturday, March 10, 2012

Montebello, CA: Officials identify couple in fatal domestic violence incident in Montebello Read more: Officials identify couple in fatal domestic violence incident in Montebello

MONTEBELLO - Investigators continued Wednesday trying to make sense of the strangulation of a 63-year-old woman by her 72-year-old husband, who then turned the knife on himself.

Anahit Hayrapetyan was pronounced dead after rescuers found her unconscious and not breathing shortly after 11 a.m. Monday at the couple's home in the 2000 block of West Whittier Boulevard, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's and coroner's officials.

She appeared to have been strangled, however an autopsy had not been completed Wednesday, coroner's Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.

Her husband, 72-year-old Baghdo Hayrapetyan, was also found at the scene, suffering from stab wounds to his torso believed to be self-inflicted, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau said. He remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday.

He was booked on suspicion of murder Tuesday afternoon at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center jail ward, according to county booking records.

The reason for the killing remained unclear, Hernandez said.

"We're trying to find motive," the lieutenant said. "Our investigators are meeting again with the family and going over medical records."

It was not known if an illness or psychological problem played a role in the incident.

"We have information that (Baghdo Hayrapetyan) was taking medication, but we don't know exactly for what," Hernandez said.

The suspect's medical condition prevented detectives from getting a statement from him, he added.
Officials also canvassed apartments near the Hayrapetyan home in hopes of finding anyone who saw or heard anything unusual, with no initial luck.

"It's kind of a tough case," Hernandez said. "It's one-on-one. There's no eyewitnesses."

Family members discovered Baghdo Hayrapetyan bleeding and unconscious and the body of Anahit Hayrapetyan when they came to the apartment to check on them, Hernandez said.

"Family members were trying to get a hold of the victim. When they were unsuccessful, they became concerned and drove to the apartment," Hernandez said.

When no one answered the door, he added, they asked an employee of the apartment complex to open the unit. Once inside, they made the grisly discovery and called authorities.

Baghdo Hayrapetyan was being held in lieu of $1 million bail and was scheduled for arraignment Thursday in East Los Angeles Superior Court, records show, though it was unclear if his medical condition would allow the hearing to go forward.

626-962-8811, ext. 2109

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