A prominent Hollywood marriage and family therapist died after she was found below a third-floor balcony at her Hollywood Hills home on Saturday, and her ex-boyfriend had been arrested on suspicion of murder, investigators announced Sunday.
Amie Harwick, 38, died at a hospital Saturday, hours after the 1:15 a.m. alleged attack in the 2000 block of Mounds Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Gareth Pursehouse, 41, of Playa Del Rey, described by police as Harwick’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested about 4:30 p.m. Saturday in connection with her death, officials said. Harwick had previously obtained a restraining order against Pursehouse, but it had expired.
A report of a woman heard screaming first drew a police response to the neighborhood, LAPD officials said in a written statement.
Officers encountered a man in the street who told them his roommate was being assaulted inside her home, police said. The roommate relayed that he had jumped a wall and ran to neighboring homes in search for help.
“When officers went to make entry, they found the victim on the ground beneath a third story balcony,” according to the LAPD statement. “The victim was gravely injured. She suffered significant injuries consistent with a fall.”
Paramedics took Harwick to a hospital, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
“The investigation revealed possible evidence of a struggle in the upstairs as well as forced entry to the residence,” the police statement said. “A canvass of the area located further evidence of an intruder (suspect) entering the property and leaving after the murder.”
Pursehouse was described in booking records as 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 230 pounds.
Investigators learned that Harwick had “recently expressed fear” about her former boyfriend, Pursehouse, police said. She had obtained a restraining order against him at one point, but that order had expired. Harwick was last known to have seen Pursehouse about two weeks ago.
A task force found Pursehouse about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at a home in the 8100 block of Cabora Drive in Playa Del Rey, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
Detectives planned to present their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing on Wednesday.
Bail for Pursehouse was set at $2 million pending his initial court appearance.
Harwick, who was a Playboy model before starting her practice specializing in psychotherapy and sex therapy, was reportedly engaged to television star Drew Carey before the couple split in 2018.
Anyone with information can contact the LAPD at 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be sent to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.