Body Found Near Crestline Is Missing O.C. Woman, 62

Times Staff Writer

A body found in a shallow grave in the San Bernardino Mountains was identified Thursday as a Lake Forest woman who was reported missing in mid-June. Authorities have named her former tenant, now jailed in Colorado, as a suspect.

Carolyn Dunn Avdeef, 62, was identified through X-rays of an old leg injury, Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said. An autopsy could not determine the cause of her death.

Her body was discovered Sunday by a hiker near California 138, north of Old Mill Road in the Crestline area.


Investigators named Nicholas James Vovos, 22, as the suspect in Avdeef’s disappearance and killing, Amormino said. Vovos and his wife, Deborah Sue Miller Vovos, 39, of Riverside, had rented a room at Avdeef’s house, as had Deborah Vovos’ mother, Joyce Miller. Miller is not considered a suspect, Amormino said.

“There was physical evidence left at the scene, and we have other physical evidence tying him to the crime,” he said.

The Vovoses withdrew more than $10,000 from Avdeef’s accounts and fled to Colorado in the victim’s car, authorities said. The couple had a July 3 shootout with Colorado deputies that resulted in Deborah Vovos’ death.

Nicholas Vovos was arrested unharmed and was being held at the Weld County Detention Center in Greeley on $1.5-million bail. He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder of a police officer and with eluding officers.

Robert Avdeef, Carolyn Avdeef’s ex-husband, said investigators have told the family that the Vovoses were caught on videotape using Carolyn Avdeef’s credit cards.