Lancaster, CA – A homeless man forced his way into a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer’ s house and brutally beat her to death as she was returning home from work early Sunday morning, according to police.
Investigators said the suspect went to 52-year-old Los Angeles County Probation Department (LACPD) Deputy Probation Officer II Paula Lind’s residence on Barrymore Avenue and shattered a sliding door to gain entry, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Probation Officer Lind, who generally supervised adult offenders, had been working an overtime shift at a juvenile facility in Sylmar to assist with a staffing shortage over the weekend, according to law enforcement source who wanted to remain anonymous.
She had just returned to her house when the attack occurred shortly after midnight on Sept. 25, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Probation Officer Lind and the unidentified intruder got into a physical altercation before she was ultimately bludgeoned to death, according to investigators.
Prosecutors said the suspect was trying to sexually assault her and that he defiled her remains after murdering her, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) responded to the 45500-block of Barrymore Avenue for a report of a home invasion at approximately 12:05 a.m., FOX News reported.
“When deputies arrived, they found the victim, a Black female, 50-55 years of age, unresponsive and suffering from blunt head trauma,” the LASD said in a news release. “The victim was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.”
The alleged killer was discovered at the scene and was arrested.
Police said he was armed with a shotgun at the time of the attack, but that the weapon was not fired, according to the Los Angeles Times.
LASD Homicide Lieutenant Michael Gomez said the suspect is a 33-year-old “transient” man who sometimes uses the alias of Sandro Bladimir Martinez-Marroquin, but he noted that investigators do not believe that is his true name, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced on Tuesday that the suspect was charged as a “John Doe” with offenses of assault with intent to commit rape during a residential burglary, murder, sexual contact with deceased remains, and first-degree residential burglary.
Prosecutors also added special allegations of residential burglary with a person present and personal use of a firearm.
“The murder of Officer Lind has shocked all of Los Angeles County, and we in the District Attorney’s Office extend our condolences to her family, friends and Probation Department colleagues,” Gascon said in the news release. “That this officer who dedicated her career to public safety fell victim to senseless and depraved violence in her home is beyond tragic. We will do all in our power to hold the person responsible for this to account.”
The LACPD said Probation Officer Lind was a “devoted” member of the probation office for 16 years, FOX News reported.
“Our hearts are heavy today. Our Officers work daily to help folks start over and rebuild their lives; their work helps keep communities safe,” LACPD Chief Probation Officer Adolfo Gonzales said in a statement to FOX News. “It is horrifying to hear that one of our beloved Officers passed in this manner. I am hopeful that the individual responsible for this attack will be held accountable and that justice will prevail. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lind family, loved ones, and friends.”
Probation Officer Lind leaves behind her longtime boyfriend, who also serves as a probation officer, her colleagues told the Los Angeles Times.