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Deaths of elderly man, woman in Culver City ruled murder

May 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Investigators said on Wednesday that the deaths of an elderly man and a young woman in Culver City were ruled a murder.

The man was identified as 89-year-old Lucien Bergez, Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the coroner's office said. Authorities withheld the name of the woman, who was in her 20s, pending notification of her relatives.

Authorities first arrived at the home in the 4000 block of Huron Avenue near Washington Boulevard around 10 a.m. Tuesday after someone came across the bodies. Officials are not saying how the two died or how they're related.

Residents say the quiet neighborhood has been safe enough to walk freely day or night.

"I'm scared actually because we've been here eight years and nothing ever happened," said neighbor Houida Charouf. "It's a quiet area. It's very safe for the kids and for everybody and now we have to count every move."

Other neighbors also expressed fear.

"It was very hard to sleep last night," Margarita Castaneda said.

Bergez was a veteran of World War II, and according to Castaneda, he was very proud of being a vet.

It is unclear what the female victim's relationship is to Bergez.

"It's very startling that something like this would happen because this is an extremely quiet neighborhood," said neighbor Margie Hutcheson.

Authorities have not released a motive for the double homicide. It is unknown if the victims knew the attacker.

"He never bothered anyone," Castaneda said of Bergez. "He was a really nice person. It's horrible."

Anyone with information is urged to call Culver City police at (310) 253-6300.