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Daughter arrested after dad's body found

May 20, 2008 8:17:53 AM PDT
Sheriff's deputies were investigating a mysterious death in Bellflower Tuesday morning after the body of an 85-year-old man was found buried under trash."It is really sad that he laid there that long," said Paul Renzacci.

Paul Renzacci, who was the man's gardener for years, had his suspicions about the 85-year-old man's disappearance some months ago.

"Since his daughter moved in we haven't seen much of him," said neighbor Cindy Benjamin.

It turns out that his suspicions and those of other neighbors were right on. The body of the 85-year-old was found Monday afternoon in the backyard of his home. He was found between a shed and a retaining wall.

"When I mowed back there you could see something there. I had a feeling deep down inside that was him. I didn't want to look because that is weird," said Renzacci.

The man's 58-year-old daughter who lived with him is now under arrest for his murder. Neighbors say they are not surprised by the news.

"I just felt in my heart that something was wrong. He was too old to travel like she said. He was hard of hearing. I did not trust the story she was giving and I wasn't going to let it go," said neighbor Christine Van Hofwegen.

Van Hofwegen says that the daughter's story was that her father was on vacation. Neighbors say that is what she told authorities when they first came out to check on the man weeks ago.

Van Hofwegen insisted Monday that officials check the house again for her missing neighbor and when they did they found his body.

"It is just sad, he did not deserve to go that way. He was a very nice man," said Van Hofwegen.

"He was really gentle. He liked to grow tomatoes and give them to the neighbors. He was just a real nice guy," said Renzacci.

The daughter was arrested and faces murder charges.

 

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