A story for every victim

Jim John Rudometkin, 59

Jim Rudometkin, a 59-year-old white man, was killed Sunday, Jan. 17, in the 10300 block of Lesterford Avenue in Downey, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Downey police were called to a home at 11:13 a.m. after a neighbor reported seeing two men talking to Rudometkin near the side door of his home, then forcing him inside, said Sgt. Kevin McCaster. A third man entered the home a short time later.

As officers arrived, police received another report of three men jumping over the fence behind Rudometkin’s home and running away.

When officers entered the home, they found Rudometkin bound and unresponsive, The Times reported. Rudometkin was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:58 a.m., according to coroner’s records.

Rudometkin had been tied up and struck multiple times, said Ed Winter, the coroner's assistant chief of investigations. An autopsy showed that Rudometkin died of blunt trauma and heart disease, Winter said.

Police officers surrounded the area and were able to arrest two of the suspects in the neighborhood, McCaster said. The third, a 17-year-old, was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 19. 

Rudometkin was a respected real estate agent who worked with Coldwell Banker Alliance in Whittier for 28 years, said the agency’s broker, Jim Emery. 

“Everybody cared deeply for Jim,” Emery said. “He was a kind, gentle, private-type guy."

Rudometkin had lots of friends, no siblings and was never married, Emery said. 

He lived with his mother and father in the home where the crime occurred and cared for his parents until their deaths a few years ago. Rudometkin was in the middle of moving out of the house and into an apartment when he was killed.

The Rudometkin family was of Russian descent, Emery said, and Rodometkin was active at a Russian Molokan church in Whittier. The family plans to hold a private service and burial.

Investigators believe Rudometkin was targeted in the home invasion robbery, McCaster said, but he said he couldn't comment further.

L.A. County prosecutors filed three felony charges each on Jan. 20 against Henry Willie Sao, a 28-year-old Pacific Islander from Long Beach, Paul Darvais Misikei, an 18-year-old Pacific Islander from Anaheim, and Sakaopo Atanasio Folau, a 17-year-old Pacific Islander from Anaheim who is being charged as an adult, according to news release from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The three are charged with murder, home invasion robbery and first-degree burglary with the person present. The charges include special allegations that the three committed murder during the course of a robbery and residential burglary, and committed great bodily injury upon the victim during the commission of the crime.

Misikei and Sao could face the death penalty if prosecutors decide to seek it, according to the news release. Because Folau is a minor, he faces up to life in prison if convicted.

All three are being held without bail and are scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 10 in Department J of the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Norwalk Court.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Downey Police Det. Paul Hernandez at (562) 904-2368 or McCaster, the sergeant in charge of robberies and homicides, at (562) 904-2304. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

Share a memory or thought about Jim John Rudometkin

Before you post, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Remember, all posts are approved by a Times staffer. Profanity and personal attacks will not be approved.

  Required
  Required
Email addresses are not republished or used for marketing purposes.

Seven reader comments