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News Release

Friday, June 5, 2009

Media Relations

Los Angeles Police Detective Arrested NR09267mg

On June 5, 2009, detectives assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division arrested Los Angeles Police Detective Stephanie Lazarus for the 1986 murder of Sherri Rasmussen.  The arrest was made at the Los Angeles Police Administrative Building (PAB) in downtown Los Angeles.

On February 24, 1986, Sherri Rasmussen, who was 29 years old, was alone in her residence in Van Nuys, California.  Her husband had left for the day, and when he returned in the early evening hours he found his wife brutally murdered.  Ms. Rasmussen died as a result of multiple gunshots.

In February 2009, the murder of Sherri Rasmussen was reviewed by Los Angeles Police Department Detectives in a systematic review of “Cold Cases.”  The current investigation, combined with technology available today lead to the identification of Lazarus as the suspect in this case.  The investigation revealed that Lazarus had a previous relationship with the victim’s husband prior to the murder.           

DNA processing and analysis provided a key piece of evidence in this investigation.

Robbery-Homicide Division Detectives served search warrants at several locations to further the investigation following the detective’s arrest.

Lazarus is 49 years old, and has been a member of the Department for 25 years.  At the time of the murder Lazarus had been a member of the Department for two years.  Lazarus resides in Simi Valley.

All inquiries should be directed to the Los Angeles Police Department Detective Bureau at 213-847-4491.

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