George Shatford, a 61-year-old resident at the Pasadena Residential Care Center, was apparently strangled to death on Monday evening, just around dinnertime.
Pasadena Police Department spokeswoman Tracey Ibarra says that Shatford is currently being examined by the L.A. County Coroner — but she adds that when police found him, he appeared to have “injuries towards his neck.”
While they were inspecting the body, another patient at the center…
… walked up to the cops and “admitted to killing Mr. Shatford,” according to the police report. That patient was later identified as 38-year-old Paul Lopez. (Both the victim and admitted killer are listed as white males.)
Shatford had first been reported dead by an employee at the facility who noticed he wasn't breathing. When Pasadena firefighters showed up, they were reportedly “unable to revive Mr. Shatford.” That's when the PD stepped in.
So why was a 38-year-old living at a self-described “residential care facility for the elderly”? We called the center to clarify.
The woman at the front desk sounded super freaked out; she put us on hold for 10 minutes before cutting the call short.
However, while we were on hold, we did learn some more about the center: Over soft classical music, a woman with a British accent described the home as “a place nestled in the peaceful hills of Pasadena,” with luxurious single rooms and a staff dedicated to “treating the whole person” — including patients' “social limitations and gifts.”
The pre-recorded message made Pasadena Residential Care Center out to be a “serene community” where residents are treated to everything from game nights to “exercise sessions to keep [them] feeling young.”
Detective Ibarra says that Lopez, the man who admitted to murdering Shatford, has since been interviewed by detectives. “He's given us details” about his motive and method, says Ibarra, but “we're not sharing that at this point.”
In May 2011, a reviewer named John Standett criticized the “horrible” center on ShowMeLocal.com:
“Horrible patient treament. mentally ill clients are not monitored out in the community. they are not monitored with medication, and are allowed to refuse meds. the facility expects the police to intrevene when they don't care for their client's properly!”