Los Angeles police announced Tuesday they arrested four suspects who fled to a Las Vegas hotel after the slayings of four people at an illegal boarding house in Northridge. | Previously: Northridge slayings spotlight unlicensed boarding homes | Northridge shooting leaves 4 dead | Photos
The announcement came as city inspectors discovered multiple city code violations at the house at 17441 Devonshire St. and as relatives began publicly identifying some of the victims.
The four suspects were arrested Monday without incident at the Silverton Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, the day after the crime was discovered. One man was held on suspicion of murder and two women and another man, all in their 30s, are suspected of being accessories.
"I'm extremely happy to report to you that these suspects are off the street and we've made some progress," Police Chief Charlie Beck said at an afternoon press conference at police headquarters downtown.
Beck said his "investigators have worked around the clock since the murders and were able to develop information and leads that pointed them in the direction of four individuals implicated in the heinous crime that took the lives of the four victims."
Beck praised the "brilliant
He also would not say what the motive might have been.
Ka Pasasouk, 31, of Los Angeles - who has prior convictions for methamphetamine possession and auto theft - was arrested on suspicion of murder, and 30-year-old Howard Alcantara of Glendale on suspicion of robbery and aiding a felon after the fact.
Two Los Angeles women, 30-year-old Donna Rabulan and 33-year-old Christina Neal, were held for aiding a felon.
All four were being held Tuesday night in the Clark County Detention Center under fugitive warrants. They had court hearings for extradition scheduled for Thursday morning in Nevada.
The bodies of two women and two men were found about 4:30 a.m. Sunday in the yard of the Devonshire Street house. Neighbors called police and reported hearing screaming and gunshots.
Beck called the crime scene a "very grisly tableau."
The dead women appeared to be in their 20s. One man was in his 30s, and the other was in his 40s, said Cmdr. Andrew Smith, an LAPD spokesman. No weapon was found at the scene.
The coroner's office has indefinitely delayed releasing the victims' names, citing a "security hold" requested by police. Beck declined to name them Tuesday and said releasing too much information too early could hurt the case.
"This will all be made public as the prosecution unfolds," the chief said.
But relatives of at least two victims have publicly come forward, identifying two of the slain as Robert Calabia of Eagle Rock, and Amanda Ghossein, the mother of a 1-year-old daughter.
Some of those relatives visited the scene of the slayings on Tuesday and spoke to reporters.
Visitors also added to a growing memorial to Ghossein, who would have turned 25 Tuesday.
"I was hoping when I woke up today this was all going to be one big nightmare," her younger sister wrote in a letter, placed
"It's crazy. Just last week we were talking about the fashion business we were going to open together," the note said.
A photograph of Ghossein was placed on a poster board, which included the young woman's daughter, Luna. Those who left notes to Ghossein promised to take care of the little girl.
"People need to know that she's a mom, a loving daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece," Ghossein's cousin, Alyssa Virigni, told KABC (Channel 7).
"I don't understand who can do this. Who can kill someone not knowing if they have a family or not?"
Rolina Calabia, the sister of victim Robert Calabia, sobbed on camera as she shared her grief with reporters.
"I can't believe my brother's not here anymore," she said. "He's always there for me. Why my brother?"
The investigation continued Tuesday as members of a police crime scene unit combed the property where the bodies were found and an area across the street, using metal detectors and other equipment.
Investigators said the victims were visiting friends at the home when they were confronted and fatally shot by the suspects, but what connection they had to the suspects or a specific motive for the shooting remained unclear Tuesday.
At least two of those arrested have criminal records. Pasasouk was arrested in Northridge in September and charged with possession of methamphetamine.
He was convicted in 2010 of grand theft auto with a prior conviction and in 2005 for possession of methamphetamine. Neal was convicted in 2011 of theft and giving false information to a police officer.
Relatives of the four suspects could not be reached Tuesday evening.
Sixteen detectives from Robbery-Homicide worked over a 43-hour period to develop leads in the case, Beck said.
After they determined the suspects were possibly heading to Las Vegas, the LAPD and the FBI sought help from Las Vegas police. They quickly pulled together a task force of Las Vegas and Henderson police and special agents with the FBI to track down the suspects, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Las Vegas police said the task force determined the suspects were driving a black Audi with no license plates and were possibly staying at the Silverton, the newspaper reported. Authorities located the Audi at the Silverton and determined that the suspects had checked into the hotel Sunday night.
Las Vegas police told the newspaper that search warrants had been issued for the Audi and the suspects' hotel room, and Los Angeles police interviewed the suspects.
On Tuesday, city inspectors found illegal plumbing and electrical work at the Northridge house, as well as new interior walls, all done without permits, said David Lara, a Department of Building and Safety spokesman. They also found two illegal exterior structures evidently used as living space, one attached to a garage and a smaller one, Lara said.
The inspectors issued two orders to comply to the homeowner Yag Dutt Kapil, which will require him to either undo illegal work or get after-the-fact permits. They also posted notices barring anyone from entering the exterior structures and advised Kapil to avoid using parts of the house itself, Lara said.
It was unclear to inspectors how many people had been living on the property, Lara said, because no one except the homeowner was present when they arrived Tuesday. The city Department of Housing was working to find shelter for some of the people.
Lara said it's uncertain what fines Kapil could face.
City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who went inside the home Sunday, said it appeared to be an unauthorized boarding house. An ordinance aimed at fighting such illicit group homes has been stalled for years amid opposition from advocates for disabled people and immigrants.
Englander described the house as filthy, with mattresses and electrical cords scattered about and the smell of feces and urine. He said about a dozen people appeared to have been living in the house, with one room accessible only by a window.
In interviews with the Daily News, Kapil said it is not an illegal boarding home, but that many people not related to him lived there. They left Sunday, he said.
The 78-year-old Kapil, who has remained in the house, said he is bedridden with diabetes and heart disease and did not hear the gunfire Sunday.
On Tuesday, the property's landscape appeared well cared for, although an old television could be seen on the front lawn, as well as a door. Curtains and blinders were pulled over the windows.
The Department of Building and Safety received minor complaints about the home in 2003 and 2009 that were resolved. In 2009, someone reported a garage had been illegally converted to living space, but an inspector found that was not true, Lara said, so the case was closed.
Police said it was not known as a problem house. And inspectors had not visited the house since 2009 until police called them Sunday.