Woman Arrested After Brutal Murder In Rolling Hills Estates


A woman suspected of stabbing another woman to death in the affluent neighborhood of Rolling Hills Estates is in custody Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced at a press conference this morning. Authorities say they believe 39-year-old Cherie Townsend killed Susan Leeds in a robbery. 

"She was arrested and will be charged with murder and has a $million bail. She was taken into custody in the early morning hours yesterday in Victorville, California," said McDonnell.

Officials say forensic evidence collected from the car helped lead detectives to Townsend, adding that they are not ruling out the possibility of other suspects. 

"We believe that the motivation for this crime was robbery, and that Mrs Leeds was randomly chosen. We have also not ruled the participation by other suspects," McDonnell said. 

Leeds was found dead inside her Mercedes SUV on the first floor of the parking garage at the Promenade on the Peninsula earlier this month. Detectives say Leeds' throat had been cut, and she had been stabbed several times in the chest. 

Fred Leeds, a stepson of the victim, asked the community for any witnesses to come forward to help police if they know something. 

"If anyone has any knowledge of this murder, that may have seen, please come forward. Please help the police. Again, it will make our community a safer community." 

Leeds' death is the first homicide for the affluent community since 2008. 


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