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Granddaughter of Douglas Founder Slain in Phoenix

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A woman whose mutilated body was found in a Phoenix alley has been identified as the granddaughter of the founder of a company that became McDonnell Douglas Corp., police said Tuesday.

Holly Douglas Iler, 46, was found dead Friday morning. Detectives with the Phoenix Police Department said her throat was slashed and her breasts were cut off.

Daniel Peter Pandeli, 28, of Phoenix was arrested Sunday and charged with murder. Court documents show that Pandeli was arrested after an informant led police to bloodstained articles that linked Pandeli to Iler’s death.

Investigators said Pandeli was a suspect in the murder of another woman two years ago but they declined to reveal details of the earlier crime.

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“It was always my worry that Holly would run into the wrong type of person,” her father, Donald W. Douglas Jr., was quoted by the Associated Press as saying Monday. Douglas, board chairman of the Douglas Energy Co., a geothermal energy development firm in Placentia, said: “When you’re on the street looking for drugs, or whatever she was looking for, you’re taking a hell of a risk.”

Douglas could not be reached Tuesday to explain his remarks.

But Barbara Franke, one of Iler’s friends, said Douglas’ daughter suffered from an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Franke said she thought Iler was on her way to a substance abuse rehabilitation clinic on the day her body was found.

Douglas said Monday that he had not been in regular contact with his daughter since she and her husband, Joe Iler, moved to the Phoenix area from California last spring. Douglas said Joe Iler had back problems that prevented him from working and that Holly Iler had been supporting them both by caring for elderly people.

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Douglas said his daughter had hoped to bring her son, Douglas, 13, to Phoenix for a visit. He said the youth is living with his father in Canada.

Iler was the granddaughter of Donald W. Douglas Sr., who founded Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica in 1920, a decade after observing a demonstration by flight pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The company went on to dominate the commercial aircraft industry until Boeing Co. overtook it in the 1960s. In financial difficulty, Douglas sold out to McDonnell in 1967.

Times correspondent Laura Laughlin in Phoenix contributed to this story.

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