Carasi Arrested in CityWalk Double Murder


Armed with new blood evidence, sheriff’s homicide investigators Wednesday rearrested Paul Carasi in the Mother’s Day slayings of his mother and ex-girlfriend at Universal CityWalk.

Carasi, 30, was taken into custody at 5:15 p.m. at his North Hollywood apartment on suspicion of murdering his mother, Doris Carasi, 61, and his ex-girlfriend, Sonia Salinas, 29, who were found May 14 with their throats cut atop a CityWalk parking garage, Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara McWilliams said.

Carasi was arrested on May 18 in connection with the slayings but set free a few days later after prosecutors declined to file charges, citing insufficient evidence.


The situation changed Wednesday, when homicide detectives received what they said is crucial new evidence.

“We got the blood evidence back on him and it implicates him in the murders,” said McWilliams, who declined to elaborate. Detectives had said previously that they were awaiting results of DNA and other tests on blood found at the death scene and on a recovered knife.

McWilliams said she notified Carasi of his pending arrest. “I called him and he said he wanted a lawyer,” she said.

Carasi was later booked at the sheriff’s West Hollywood station, where he was being held without bail.

He is expected to be arraigned Friday on two counts of murder and will face special-circumstance allegations of committing multiple murders, making him liable for the death penalty, McWilliams said.

Carasi’s current girlfriend, Donna Kay Lee, 44, pleaded not guilty to the same charges after her arrest May 19 in a Panorama City hospital room.


Carasi told guards at Universal City that he, his mother and Salinas were attacked as they returned to their car after a Mother’s Day dinner at the Country Star restaurant at the urban-styled theme park. His hand was cut and he was knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant, he said. When he came to, the women had been slain.

Only 15 minutes later, Lee phoned for help from a call box on the Hollywood Freeway about four miles from CityWalk, where she was discovered bleeding from cuts to her abdomen and a minor back wound. She told a dispatcher that she had been stabbed by a robber on the freeway.

But investigators said they found a bloody butcher knife, bloody clothing, fanny packs belonging to Paul and Doris Carasi, and Sonia Salinas’ purse scattered near Lee’s sports car.

She has not explained how they got there, according to authorities, who have speculated that Lee was trying to dump the victims’ property and the knife in the shrubbery beside the freeway, but was forced to call for help because she accidentally locked herself out of her car.

Police have said that at least a half-dozen witnesses have come forward to say they saw Lee at CityWalk on the night of the killings.

Authorities have yet to give a specific motive for the slayings, but previously said that relations were strained between Paul Carasi and his mother and Salinas, and also between the two women and Lee.


Lee, Salinas and Paul Carasi all worked together at a Bank of America data-processing center in Los Angeles. Carasi and Lee shared an apartment in the same building as Doris Carasi, who was frequently visited there by Salinas and her 2-year-old son by Paul Carasi.

In an interview with The Times last month, Carasi said he got along with Salinas and that Salinas and Lee left each other alone. Carasi also expressed his innocence and his love for Lee.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Carasi said then. “By all rights, it should have been my neck slashed and not theirs.

“I love Donna,” he added. “And I don’t think she did anything wrong.”