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Crime

Kevin Wolfe Pochter -- Hiker Accused of Killing Old Friend at L.A. Forest Campground -- Leads Sheriff on 'Armed and Dangerous' Manhunt

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Mon, May 2, 2011 at 10:28 AM
click to enlarge Suspected friend-killer Kevin Pochter: On the loose in the San Gabriel Mountains - LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
  • Suspected friend-killer Kevin Pochter: On the loose in the San Gabriel Mountains

This guy's good. After allegedly murdering "lifelong friend" Dean Ron Albert, 53, deep in the Angeles National Forest on Thursday, Huntington Beach resident Kevin Wolfe Pochter, also 53, is thought to be foraging an escape trail through the San Gabriel Mountains, evading L.A. County sheriff's helicopters overhead and three search teams on foot, according to KNX news radio.

The suspect was last spotted Saturday night, City News Service reports, hiking in the mountains above Arcadia and Monrovia.

So far, investigators have swept 62 square miles of wilderness...

... but still no sign of the suspected killer, an experienced hiker.

The OC Register describes the man's relationship with his victim:

Pochter and Albert are believed to have met in the mountains Thursday, Detective Ray Lugo of the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Lugo described the men as lifelong friends who had attended high school together.

"The suspect, Kevin Pochter, seemed extremely upset over... a financial deal," Lugo told the Tribune. He declined to give more details on a possible motive.

Albert's near-lifeless body was discovered at 5:40 p.m. last Thursday, lying near the side of a road running through Chantry Flats Campground. But by that point, his murderer had disappeared -- perhaps in the victim's own vehicle, a silver BMW 740, which was found parked outside Mount Wilson Observatory on Saturday morning. The observatory sits adjacent to a row of L.A. news stations' broadcasting towers.

Pochter is described as white, bald and blue-eyed. He's 6 feet tall, 175 pounds and probably dressed in dark clothing. Anyone with information as to his whereabouts or the Thursday-afternoon crime are urged to contact the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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