A dead body was found Thursday in the trunk of Los Angeles Realtor Julie “Deede” Buchanan Keller’s car. Police have not yet identified the body.
Keller, who’s been missing for seven days was last seen a week ago at her home in El Segundo, a small community on the southern edge of Los Angeles International Airport.
Keller’s 1999 Mercedes Benz E320 was found Thursday evening in San Diego, 120 miles south of El Segundo.
El Segundo Police Detective Ken Mulroney said the circumstances surrounding the Realtor’s disappearance are “suspicious.”
She is an agent at Shorewood Realtors in nearby Manhattan Beach, one of the trendiest and most expensive communities in L.A.’s popular South Bay. Rick Plank, Keller’s office manager, said she has been representing clients in the area for more than a dozen years.
Police Det. Mulroney says Keller, 55, was last seen being dropped off at her home by a date at about 11:30 p.m. last Thursday.
No one was worried when Keller didn’t come into the office on Friday or Saturday, Shorewood’s Plank said, because those are two of the days when the agent is typically busy showing properties and meeting with clients. But Keller’s son, Michael, told investigators that he became worried after learning his mother had uncharacteristically missed some weekend appointments.
Michael Keller told investigators he drove to his mother’s house on Sunday, and became alarmed after discovering that his mom’s prized dogs had been left unfed, several windows were open, and the TV had been left on. Early yesterday morning, local TV broadcasts seemed to suggest that Keller’s ex-husband might somehow be connected to her disappearance. They divorced last year after five years of marriage, and he left the country on Sunday to visit Bolivia.
Officials from the U.S. State Department briefly detained the ex-husband when he arrived in Bolivia early Monday, according to media reports. But his claim that he was simply traveling to South America to visit a sick relative was accurate, Det. Mulroney said, and neither L.A. nor federal officials are currently planning an airplane flight to South America to further question the ex-husband.
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