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Veteran LAPD detective arrested on suspicion of murder

A 25-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Stephanie Ilene Lazarus, 49, was arrested today on suspicion of killing Sherri Rae Rasmussen, the wife of a former lover, in 1986. Rassmussen’s husband found her body in their condominium in Van Nuys on February 24, 1986. Rassmussen had been shot multiple times. Investigators believed that Rasmussen had been the victim of a fatal robbery, but there were few leads in the case.

LAPD’s “cold case” squad found DNA evidence that led to Lazarus, who had been on the force two years at the time of the murder. The investigation found that Lazarus had a relationship with the victim’s husband prior to the murder. New analysis of DNA from the crime scene showed that the suspected killer was female rather than male as previously believed. DNA has recently been obtained surreptitiously from Lazarus.

The case will be given to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office on Monday.

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