Los Angeles police said Tuesday that they are looking for a former Burbank personal fitness trainer in connection with the stabbing death of one of his clients, a young Warner Bros. production assistant whose body was found in the trainer’s apartment last week.
Detectives at the LAPD’s North Hollywood station identified Douglas Oliver Kelly, 35, as the suspect in the slaying of 19-year-old Sara Weir, a Newbury Park Adventist Academy graduate who had been a member of the Family Workout center where Kelly had worked. He was recently fired, and the club closed several days ago, police said.
Police and Weir’s boss on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank described her as young and somewhat innocent. “She was a great little girl and I miss her very much,” said Suzy Friendly, Weir’s boss. “It’s not safe anymore. I’ve lived here all my life. I’m exceptionally upset.”
Detectives said Kelly, who has the name “Doug K” tattooed on his right bicep, also is being sought on a 1991 Florida rape warrant.
Weir’s decomposing body was found last Wednesday by another woman, whom police refused to identify. The woman shared Kelly’s apartment in the 4900 block of Laurel Canyon Blvd., but left after having him arrested for spousal abuse Aug. 31.
Detectives Mike Coffey and Steve Hooks asked the public’s help in locating Kelly, who sometimes works as a chef or personal trainer. He is described as muscular, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 180 pounds. He speaks with a slight Caribbean lilt.
Because Kelly lied about his birth date when he was arrested in the spousal abuse case, police had no idea that he was wanted in Florida for rape, Hooks said. The National Crime Information Center computer that keeps track of warrants and criminal histories “doesn’t always come up with the warrants if the date of birth isn’t right on,” Hooks said.
The date Kelly gave “was off by a couple of months,” he said. According to police and court records, after his arrest Kelly won a speedy release with a quick court plea. On Sept. 1, the day after his arrest, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor spousal abuse charge under a plea bargain.
Judge Alan Ellis sentenced Kelly to two years probation and ordered him to serve 13 days with a Caltrans work crew and to complete a six-month domestic violence education program.
Two weeks later, the victim in the first case found Weir’s body, riddled with multiple stab wounds. She also apparently had been strangled.
Weir was reported missing Sept. 7; Kelly hasn’t been seen or heard from since that day, police said. He previously has lived in Chicago and New Jersey, according to detectives.
O’Neill is a Times staff writer. Mrozek is a correspondent.