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Editha Cruz de Leon, 76

Editha Cruz de Leon, a 76-year-old Filipino woman, was found dead Sunday, Dec. 8, in the 3900 block of Van Horne Avenue in El Sereno, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Shortly before noon, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Division received a radio call for a death investigation in the area.

Officers discovered Cruz de Leon, and paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene at 11:52 a.m., according to coroner’s records.

Coroner’s records show that Cruz de Leon, a retired gynecologist, had been stabbed and strangled, then discovered by a relative.

Prosecutors said in a news release that Cruz de Leon was killed the previous day.

A team of authorities from the LAPD and the FBI arrested Timothy Chavira on Dec. 18 at a Pasadena home, police said.

Chavira, a 56-year-old Latino, has been charged with one count of murder with a special circumstance allegation that he was previously convicted of murder, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

A jury previously found Chavira guilty of first-degree murder for beating and stabbing his stepmother to death in 1986.

Chavira was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison and was released on parole in July 2017.

Cruz de Leon was raised about 30 miles north of Manila in the Philippines and had 11 siblings.

She and her husband came to the United States in 1970, according to her obituary, and she completed her medical residency at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. 

Cruz de Leon was the mother of five children.

After retiring, she traveled around the world and spent time with her five grandchildren.

“Editha was a devoted Catholic,” the obituary said, “and especially enjoyed the Christmas season as it reminded her of her favorite childhood memories in the Philippines and gave her the opportunity to celebrate with her sons and their families.”

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