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Youth Held in Slaying of Roommate, Burning Body

Times Staff Writer

A 16-year-old Huntington Beach youth was in custody Wednesday on suspicion of fatally shooting his 25-year-old roommate, then burning the body, authorities said Wednesday.

The suspect, who was arrested Monday in Huntington Beach on an unrelated auto burglary warrant, allegedly told police during questioning that he shot Paul Edward Londono on Jan. 8. at their Huntington Beach apartment.

Police said the suspect told them that he then took the body to a beach service road near Pacific Coast Highway and Golden West Avenue, doused it with gasoline and set it afire.

The suspect, whose name was withheld because he is a juvenile, was being held Wednesday in Orange County Juvenile Hall.

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Huntington Beach Police Lt. Ed McErlain said a patrolman had discovered Londono’s body on fire at 10:30 p.m. on the night of the incident. But McErlain said they had been unable to identify the badly burned body until Tuesday, when Londono’s parents came forward and a fingerprint match was made.

Londono’s parents had been notified by recent roommates of the 16-year-old suspect that he held some of Londono’s possessions, McErlain said. Parents told police that their son had been missing since Jan. 7.

During search Tuesday of a Huntington Beach apartment that the suspect had moved to after the burned body was found, evidence connecting the youth to Londono’s murder was discovered, McErlain said.

No motive for the shooting has been determined, McErlain said. Police are still investigating the case, he said, and declined to give additional information.

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Police said the suspect and Londono were believed to have lived together in an apartment on Beach Boulevard, about 200 yards from the shore. According to police, Londono was not steadily employed at the time of the incident.

Officials at the apartment complex said Wednesday that Londono’s name was not on a lease but they would not give any more information.


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