Benjamin Johnson, a 20-year-old Downey resident, in the theft of Miguel Santamaria’s car, dog and other property, police reported Friday.
During an interview with police, Johnson allegedly confessed to meeting Santamaria via Craigslist. Santamaria picked up Johnson on Thursday, May 17, and took Johnson back to his Amberwood Drive apartment, according to reports.
Sometime during Johnson’s visit, , police said.
Johnson left the apartment, taking Santamaria’s car, dog, wallet and computers. He later discarded the computers and released the dog in Downey; the dog was picked up by the local Humane Society, police reported.
South Pasadena Detective Bill Earley that Santamaria, 51, called in sick to his job on Thursday, May 17—and then didn't show on the following Friday or Monday.
That's when his friends got worried and found him deceased in his apartment around noon Monday on the 1600 block of Amberwood Drive. He had been dead for about 36 to 48 hours, said Earley.
A toxicology report is still pending, preliminary information from the L.A. County Coroner's Office indicate the death was a result of natural causes.
The investigation by both the SPPD and LASD Homicide Bureau continues, but no additional charges against Johnson related to Santamaria's death are anticipated at this time, said police.
Johnson is currently being held on $35,000 bail and was transported to Alhambra Superior Court Friday for his arraignment.
Earley with information regarding this investigation contact him directly on his cell at 626-318-5552.
Check back with Patch for updates on this developing story.