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News Release

Monday, April 30, 2012

Media Relations

Arrest Made in Elder Abuse-Homicide Case NR12198kr

Los Angeles:  An extensive two year investigation has culminated with the arrest of the homicide victim’s 61-year-old son.

On December 18, 2010, North Hollywood Homicide Detectives responded to a Death Investigation in the 6000 block of Farmdale Avenue.  From the onset it was clear that the victim, 93-year-old Sue West, did not die from natural causes.  It was apparent that this was a case of long-term elder abuse and neglect.  North Hollywood Detectives immediately initiated a homicide investigation working closely with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.  The Adult Protective Services of Los Angeles County also assisted in the investigation into the murder of Ms. Sue West.

Over the course of the next 18 months, North Hollywood Homicide Detectives attended numerous meetings with representatives from the Coroner’s Office, Adult Protective Services and the District Attorney’s Office.  The investigation also involved an in depth analysis of the history of Ms. West and her son, John West.  It also included an exhaustive background investigation and interviews with persons who had knowledge of the relationship between Ms. West and John.

After months of meetings, interviews, evidence collection and documentation, a felony arrest warrant was issued for John West, a former resident of North Hollywod, for Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse, Resulting in Death.

On Friday, April 20, 2012, John West was taken into custody in Cerritos, California without incident.  He was booked at LAPD Valley Jail Section on $100,000 bail.

Information regarding this case may be submitted to North Hollywood Homicide Detectives, Detective Kevin Royce at 818-623-4075. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”