Glendale police solve 1993 cold case murder

The Glendale Police Department has solved the cold case murder of a 41-year-old man stabbed in his home 23 years ago, authorities announced Wednesday.

Avery Carlton Howard was allegedly stabbed by Phillip Arnez Ettress, 46, sometime in October 1993 in Howard’s home in the 1700 block of Orchard Place, according to Glendale police spokesman Sgt. Robert William.

A friend of Howard’s called the department on Oct. 12 that year to check on his well-being after Howard had not been seen or heard from in several days, William said.

When officers arrived at Howard’s home, they found the door was unlocked, police said.

“They went inside and found Howard deceased,” William said. “Howard had been violently attacked inside his own home with a kitchen knife.”

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Surveillance footage from a 7-Eleven in Glendale showed Howard with an unidentified man. William said it was the last time Howard was seen alive.

Investigators followed multiple leads, but the case eventually went cold.

It was reopened by a detective in 2015, and DNA evidence collected from the crime scene was sent to the Verdugo Regional Crime Lab for processing. It turned up a match for Ettress, who had a long criminal history, according to William.

“Detectives learned Ettress was currently in custody at the Los Angeles County jail for an unrelated burglary case and was nearing the end of his sentenced term,” he said.

Investigators then discovered an earlier booking photo of Ettress was similar in appearance to the man last seen with Howard. Police also confirmed a DNA match after obtaining a sample from Ettress while he was serving out the burglary sentence.

William said Ettress had just finished his jail term on Jan. 20 when he was immediately arrested by Glendale detectives on suspicion of Howard’s murder.


Andy Nguyen,

Twitter: @Andy_Truc