Parolee arrested in fatal stabbing of homeless outreach worker found in Pasadena park

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Elena Ledford is seen in an undated photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

Elena Ledford is seen in an undated photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

After a homeless outreach worker was found fatally stabbed in a Pasadena park last week, a parolee who knew the victim was arrested, officials said Thursday.

Elena Ledford, a 49-year-old Glendale resident, was found slain near some picnic tables by a passerby jogging in Hahamongna Watershed Park the morning of Nov. 24, according to Pasadena police.

Detectives have since determined Ledford was killed across the street from where her body was found, in a parking lot at La Cañada High School.

A coroner’s autopsy found Ledford’s cause of death to be multiple sharp force injuries.

Ledford had spent the last three years working for Union Station Homeless Services, according to a GoFundMe campaign the Los Angeles-based nonprofit set up to raise money for Ledford’s 14-year-old daughter.

“Elena was more than a beloved employee and coworker to us — she was a member of our Union Station Family,” the page’s author wrote. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the Ledford Family for this unfathomable loss.”

Ledford’s family has asked for privacy.

Adrian Casey is seen in a Nov. 26, 2020, booking photo released by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
Adrian Casey is seen in a Nov. 26, 2020, booking photo released by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

Police believe 26-year-old Adrian Robert Casey of Pasadena, a parolee who had a familiar relationship with Ledford, is behind the slaying.

Casey allegedly left California shortly after Ledford was killed.

Two days after the homicide, on Nov. 26, he was taken into custody by local authorities outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, officials said.

Pasadena police investigators subsequently went to New Mexico, where they say they uncovered additional evidence, including the weapon used to stab Ledford and “other items linking the suspect to the crime.”

According to police, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office filed several charges against Casey Thursday, including a count of murder.

Casey remained in custody in New Mexico Thursday on suspicion of a parole violation, and his extradition back to California is pending.

Authorities have not commented on a possible motive in the case, or how Ledford and Casey knew each other.

The investigation remains active, and anyone with information can contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.

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