Tuesday, April 8, 2008

White Couple Kills Black Roommate in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- A couple sought in the December bludgeoning death of their San Francisco housemate, whose body lay undiscovered in an impounded van for more than a week, have been arrested in Mexico and are being extradited to California, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service said today.

Richard Carelli and his girlfriend Michelle Pinkerton, both 38, are wanted in the slaying of Leonard Milo Hoskins, 49, whose body languished for eight days in Carelli's van at a police impound yard after officers towed it from the Mission Terrace house where all three lived.
Mexican authorities arrested the couple Monday night in El Rosario, Mexico, a town on the Baja peninsula, San Francisco police said.

The two are likely to be returned to San Francisco today, said Chris Hanson, a supervisory deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service, which assisted in the investigation.
The couple's 6-year-old daughter, Viana Carelli, and their infant child were with the pair and are safe in protective custody, Hanson said.

Authorities did not immediately release further details of the arrest.
San Francisco police seized Carelli's van Jan. 24, after a neighbor told police he had seen Carelli hit Hoskins over the head with a piece of lumber outside their home on Lamartine Street, then drag him inside and emerge later smeared with blood. The man said the attack happened the night of Dec. 22, but he didn't talk to police until weeks later.

Police towed the van after cadaver dogs showed interest in it, but officers did not detain Carelli and Pinkerton at the time. Police put the van in an impound yard but did not search it until Feb. 1. They found Hoskins' decomposed body in the back, then learned that Carelli and Pinkerton had fled.

Their disappearance was the culmination of a series of apparent police missteps.
Hoskins' sister, Ureena Hoskins, initially reported him missing to police in Oakland, where she thought he had vanished. Oakland police officials conceded after Hoskins' body was found that they had failed to contact police in San Francisco immediately after learning that Hoskins had last been seen there.

Ureena Hoskins started checking on her own, spoke with the neighbor who saw the Dec. 22 incident and called San Francisco police Jan. 23. Inspector Angela Martin of the missing persons unit later said she sent two officers to the house on Lamartine Street, where they reported seeing blood on a door.

The next day, Martin and other San Francisco investigators went to the house with cadaver dogs borrowed from the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.
Martin wrote in a court affidavit that she saw more smears of blood on the top of the door. As dogs searched the outside, Carelli came out of his unit and Martin told him why police were there, she said.

"He told me that he'd heard others ... saying that he had been involved in a fight with (Hoskins)," in which he supposedly hit Hoskins with a piece of wood, Martin wrote in her affidavit.
After the dogs showed interest in the van, police called for a tow truck. "As officers were leaving the scene, Mr. Carelli and Ms. Pinkerton left together (in another car)," Martin wrote. Police made no effort to stop them.
Source here>>>


findmilo said...

The Santa Cruz Sentinel did a great article on their capture which happened because of one Stranger's Random Act Of Kindess! (not Police work)
I wish that fact would be more publicized- not to urge people to take it upon them selves to track down criminals- but to encourage people to practice random kindness more frequently. Thank Goodness for beautiful people Like James Spring and Leonard Hoskins who feel compelled to do things to make the world a better place for all of us.
Viana Carelli's Grandparents allowed them to film the reunion with her at the San Diego airport.

PS Happy Birthday to Mr Spring!

WhozHe said...

I wonder what led to the murder.