The victim of a rare West Hollywood murder had been tortured and mutilated, prosecutors said today.
Her body was also drained of its blood, they said.
The victim's boyfriend, 35-year-old Blake Leibel, has been charged with suspicion of capital murder, which would make him eligible for the death penalty if he's successfully prosecuted, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced today.
He has pleaded not guilty to suspicion of murder, mayhem, aggravated mayhem and torture, prosecutors said. The allegations of torture and mayhem add special circumstances that make the case eligible for death penalty prosecution, they said.
Los Angeles Sheriff's Department deputies discovered the body of 30-year-old Iana Kasian in the apartment she shared with the suspect in the 8500 block of Holloway Drive on Thursday about 11:30 a.m., authorities said. She's the mother of his child, they said.
Kasian's mom called law enforcement to report her daughter missing, the department said in a statement. During the subsequent “welfare check” of that residence, deputies broke down the door — without a warrant — and discovered the body, Sheriff's officials told reporters.
The DA's statement says the suspect barricaded himself in the residence, a fact not initially revealed by the Sheriff's Department. He was ultimately collared.
Investigators initially said the victim appeared to have sustained blunt force trauma to her head.
The murder happened between Monday, May 23, and Thursday, May 26, prosecutors said.
“Kasian was tortured and mutilated before she was killed and all of her blood was drained from her body,” the District Attorney's Office stated.
Prosecutors could seek the death penalty or life without parole if their case is successful.