Lucien Bergez, Erica Evelyn Escobar Murdered in Culver City: Transient They Knew, Suspect Zacakariah Timothy Lehnen, Arrested

Police at the scene of the discovery of two bodies.
Police at the scene of the discovery of two bodies.
Dennis Romero

Updated at the bottom with the suspect charged with murder. Prosecutors say he robbed, tortured and stabbed the couple.

The bodies of a male and female were found in a Culver City home today, police said.

Cops called to a residence in the 4000 block of Huron Avenue, not far from the King Fahad Mosque, made the discovery shortly after 10 a.m., according to a Culver City police statement.

Detectives aren't talking murder-suicide or any other details.

Here's what they are saying:

The scene of a possible crime.
The scene of a possible crime.
Dennis Romero

They stated that the cause of death and "possible motive" were under investigation and that detectives were looking into possible "leads."

The street was blocked with crime scene tape near Washington Boulevard.

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Update: Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter identified the male victim as 89-year-old Lucien Bergez. The woman, said to be in her 20s, was identified, but her name could not be released because her family had not been notified.

Update No. 2: Winter told the Weekly the female victim is 27-year-old Erica Evelyn Escobar of Santa Monica. He said an autopsy was scheduled today.

Patrick Healy of NBC Los Angeles posted this photo of the vicims:

The victims.
The victims.
Patrick Healy

Also: A commenter (below) says the man was a World War II veteran whose plane was shot down. He wants to create a memorial for the victim.

Update No. 3: Culver City police were holding an afternoon news conference to announce that Zacakariah Timothy Lehnen, 31, has been arrested in connection with that they're calling a double homicide. Healy tweets that cops say he knew the pair.

Healy said he was arrested at 1:30 a.m. in West Hollywood.

Update No. 4: Cops say Lehnen was arrested in a WeHo alley.

Culver City police Chief Don Pedersen said the man knew the pair:

It is our belief that this was not a random crime. The investigation has led us to believe that the suspect was known to both victims. At this time, the nature of those relationships are not completely known, however.
The suspect.
The suspect.
Patrick Healy

Update No. 5: Lehnen, 30, was charged with two counts of suspicion of murder with special circumstances that would make him eligible for the death penalty. City News Service:

The criminal complaint includes special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, murder during the course of a robbery and murder involving the infliction of torture, which could make him eligible for the death penalty.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

First posted at 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3.


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