A 71-year-old Alhambra man was arrested in connection with the suffocation slaying of his lover, whose decomposed body was found by her daughter in the trunk of her car three weeks after she disappeared in 2004.
Richard Allan Munnecke was arrested, ending an eight-year investigation, officials said.
Sheriff's officials used DNA evidence to connect the suspect to his victim, Donna Lee Kelly, who was last seen on March 24, 2004, at her apartment in the 7200 block of Jackson Place, in unincorporated San Gabriel, authorities said.
Her daughter reported Kelly missing on April 4, 2004. At that time, no evidence of foul play was detected.
Detectives learned Donna Kelly was romantically involved with Munnecke, who was married.
The daughter discovered her mother’s body on April 15, 2004.
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She was driving her mother’s car through Eaton Canyon County Park in Pasadena and smelled a foul odor coming from the trunk.
She looked inside and found her mother’s decomposed body inside.
It was later learned the murder had occurred at Kelly’s home and her body was moved to the trunk of her own vehicle, which sat in an apartment parking lot, unnoticed until Diane drove it.
Sheriff’s investigators collected DNA evidence from Kelly’s body, her apartment and her vehicle, but there was no match in the database so the case went cold.
Eight years later, Sheriff’s homicide detectives obtained a DNA sample from Munnecke and found a DNA match, officials said in a press release.
The Pasadena Star-News said Munnecke is a former Tournament of Roses Parade Association director and music committee chairman.
Munnecke was booked on a murder charge into the Los Angeles County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
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