LANCASTER – A man was in custody Tuesday, Sept. 27, in connection with the apparent beating death of a veteran Los Angeles County deputy probation officer in her Lancaster home.
The man, whose name has not been released, was detained by deputies who responded to the 45500 block of Barrymore Avenue at 12:05 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, and he was arrested later that day, Lt. Mike Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau told City News Service. Online media reports have stated that the man was homeless, but this information was not confirmed by sheriff’s officials.
Authorities believe the man broke into the residence, but a motive was unclear, Gomez said.
Paula Lind, 52, died at the scene, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office reported. An autopsy was pending to determine her cause of death. According to the county Probation Department, Lind was a 16-year veteran of the agency.
“Our hearts are heavy today,” county Chief Probation Officer Adolfo Gonzales said in a statement. “Our officers work daily to help folks start over and rebuild their lives. Their work helps keep communities safe. 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.”
Deputies were sent to the Lind’s Barrymore Avenue residence around 12:05 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, on a “burglary/home invasion call,” according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“When deputies arrived, they found the victim … unresponsive and suffering from blunt head trauma. The victim was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene,” the sheriff’s news release states.
AFSCME Local 685, the union representing deputy probation officers, announced on Facebook on Sunday that the victim was one of its members.
“One of our DPO II was found deceased early this morning at her residence in Antelope Valley,” according to the union. “… The preliminary information is that she may be a victim of homicide. … Meanwhile, please pray for family during this tragic event.”
In a statement on Monday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger called Lind’s death “a tragic loss of life.”
“She was a public servant that dedicated her life’s work to helping effect positive change in the lives of the probationers she supervised,” Barger said. “The perpetrator responsible for this brutal attack must be held accountable and brought to justice. I will continue to track the outcome of this investigation closely.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lind was assigned to Barry J. Nidorf juvenile hall in Sylmar. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Times that the woman had just come home from work when the attack happened.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
UPDATE: The man accused in Paula Lind’s killing was charged today [Sept. 27] in a “John Doe” complaint with one count each of murder, assault with intent to commit rape during a residential burglary, first-degree residential burglary and sexual contact with deceased remains, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
The man — whose identity is unknown — was ordered to be held without bail while awaiting arraignment, which was postponed until Oct. 26.
Previous related story: Woman found dead in Lancaster was a probation officer; investigation continues