Guardian Angel’s Body Found Near Killer’s Lair
A decomposed body found in a shallow grave near the mountain house of survivalist Leonard Lake was identified Wednesday as that of a founder of the San Diego Guardian Angels.
Investigators have linked Lake and a companion, Charles Ng, to the disappearances of 22 people.
Calaveras County Coroner Terry Parker identified the body as that of Robin Scott Stapley, 26, of San Diego. Stapley was identified through a fingerprint, Parker said. The cause of death was unknown.
Authorities described Stapley as a founder of the Guardian Angels in San Diego, a private volunteer group that patrols high-crime areas.
The bodies of Stapley and 27-year-old Lonnie Bond of San Diego, both males, were discovered July 9 about a half mile from Lake’s 2 1/2-acre mountain retreat. The corpses, uncovered by sheriff’s deputies during a search of an 80-square-mile area around Lake’s home, were found stuffed into sleeping bags and bound together with tape. They had been buried three to six months, Parker said.
During the past six weeks, state and local investigators have discovered the bodies or remains of 11 people, including 45 pounds of hacked and burned bones, children’s teeth, blood-stained tools, video tapes depicting sexual assaults and Lake’s 250-page diary that allegedly details numerous crimes.
Only three of the victims have been positively identified -- Bond, Stapley and Randy Jacobson, 36, of San Francisco, who disappeared last October from a Haight Ashbury rooming house.
Bond disappeared in May after complaining to friends that Lake was making sexual advances to Brenda O’Connor, who shared a house near Lake’s home with Bond and their 2-year-old son, Lonnie Jr. The couple, their baby and roommate Stapley have been missing since May.
Lake swallowed poison June 2 while in South San Francisco police custody following a shoplifting attempt, then lapsed into a coma and died June 6. Evidence obtained during his arrest led police to the Calaveras County property 150 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevada.
Lake’s compound included a concrete bunker and a small room described by police as a torture chamber.
Ng, 24, arrested July 6 in Calgary, Alberta, after a monthlong international manhunt, is being held without bail on charges of attempted murder, robbery and illegal use of a gun. The accusations stem from a shoot-out in a Canadian department store in which a security guard allegedly was shot.
Ng faces a Sept. 12 preliminary hearing in Calgary.
California authorities have been compiling evidence to justify a request to extradite Ng, a process they estimate could take at least six months.
Ng has been named in a Calaveras County warrant on two counts of murder for the deaths of O’Connor and a San Jose woman, Kathleen Allen.