Authorities arrested a 16-year-old boy Wednesday after a West Hills woman was found stabbed to death in her family's home the previous day.
Relatives discovered the woman's body about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the home in the 7100 block of Shadow Ridge, said Detective Dave Peteque of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The 53-year-old victim, later identified as Connie Cajulis, was found stabbed to death in the living room of the home, Peteque said.
Detectives have arrested a 16-year-old in connection with the stabbing, Peteque said.
The teen was not a relative of the victim, but had been allowed to stay at the home rent free because he was going through a tough time, Peteque said. Friends of Cajulis told KTLA that she and her husband and two sons had taken the boy in.
He was arrested after allegedly stealing Cajulis' car and crashing it not far from the home, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Cajulis was member of the Calabasas High School community, Principal C.J. Foss said.
"She worked in our offices, she volunteered. ... She was an extraordinary, giving and caring person, and we're heartbroken," Foss said.
Cajulis had at least one son who was a student there, and the teen suspect had been kicked out of the school, sources told KTLA.
The motive for the stabbing was not known.
"That's really tragic ... that somebody was trying to do something good for a kid and it didn't work out well at all, to say the least," a parent at the school told KTLA.
The suspect’s father, who lives in Bakersfield, told KTLA the boy had been living with relatives in West Hills until recently.
The father said he and his son had a falling out after an altercation two years ago and had gone to live with an aunt in West Hills. He then moved in with the victim, the father said.
“He’s a good kid. … I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this,” he said.
He added, “I need my kid to know that I love him.”
KTLA's Stephen Acosta, Cindy Von Quednow and Melissa Pamer contributed to this story.