Teen suspected of stabbing woman to death, stealing car in West Hills

WEST HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A teen is suspected of stabbing a woman to death and then stealing her car in West Hills Tuesday night.

A 53-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in a home in the 7100 block of Shadowridge Court, authorities said. She was identified as Connie Cajulis, who was the secretary and director of a snack stand for the football booster club at Calabasas High School.

Police said the suspect is a 16-year-old boy who stole Cajulis' car after she was stabbed to death. The teen then later crashed the car and was injured in the crash.

He was taken into police custody at a nearby hospital in stable condition. Police said the teen lived at the woman's home, but was not related to her.

People who knew Cajulis said she let the teen, who was a former student at the school, stay at her home because he was going through a tough time. A taxi driver who did not want to be identified said the teen was driven to a special needs campus for the last two to three months.

He said the teen appeared to have behavior problems and was upset Tuesday because the night before he had been told to turn off the internet by 10 p.m.

C.J. Foss, principal at Calabasas High School, said Cajulis was a kind soul and the campus is heartbroken to hear of her passing.

"She opened up her home to any student who needed it. She was kind of the mother of anybody that needed mothering..." she said.

Cajulis leaves behind a son in college as well as one who still attends Calabasas High School. Foss said she called to speak with Cajulis' husband.

"I just wanted to reach out and let him know that our hearts and prayers are with them. She is a critical member of our community, and we're at a loss right now," she said.

The CHS Coyote Football Booster Club issued a statement after hearing of Cajulis' death.

"Connie Cajulis was the Secretary and Director of the Snack Shack for the CHS Coyote Football Booster Club since its inception 3 years ago until resigning this past January.

She was incredibly selfless giving person who donated an incredible amount of time to the program and to all the kids at Calabasas. She would spend countless hours at the Calabasas HS Snack Shack on Game Days and other times to ensure that all who came to the stadium would have a great experience.

Her dedication, her love for the school, and care about other people was admired by everyone who knew her.

She will be sorely missed and the Board of Calabasas Football sends its deepest sympathies and prayers to her family and to all of those she touched."

The investigation was ongoing.
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