Authorities Lack Evidence to Arrest Person of Interest in Connection With Fatal Stabbing in Rolling Hills Estates; Victim ID’d

A man identified as a person of interest in the fatal stabbing of a woman Thursday afternoon in the parking garage of a mall in Rolling Hills Estates was detained by authorities in Harbor City Friday morning.

Susan Leeds is seen in a photo from February 2012 posted to her Facebook page.

Susan Leeds is seen in a photo from February 2012 posted to her Facebook page.

But after authorities interviewed the man and examined other evidence, they determined they did not have sufficient grounds to place him under arrest in connection with the homicide, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

However, he was arrested on a charge unrelated to the stabbing, officials said. No details were released about the nature of that charge.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was detained at a business in the 1600 block of Pacific Coast Highway.

Authorities later confirmed he was the person of interest in the killing of Susan Leeds, 66, seen in surveillance images provided by the Sheriff's Department. Authorities had previously described the man as a transient.

Mall employees, who did not wish to be identified, said the man has been seen around the shopping center for the past month.

Police question a person of interest in Harbor City on May 4, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Police question a person of interest in Harbor City on May 4, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Although investigators obtained a search warrant to examine physical evidence related to the man, nothing was found that would warrant his arrest in connection with the gruesome death, officials said.

Leeds was found bleeding in her SUV on the lower level of a parking garage at the Promenade on the Peninsula mall located in the 500 block of Deep Valley Drive. The Rancho Palos Verdes woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials said Leeds was married and had two adult children.

“It’s a tragedy to the family and it’s a tragedy to the community," her stepson, Ben Leeds, said. "There’s not a sweeter, nicer, caring person in the world.”

No witnesses to the stabbing were found.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.