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Detectives Go to New York Seeking Clues to L.A. Man's Killing

Crime: Mother and son being questioned there in socialite's disappearance apparently knew the victim.

July 09, 1998|CLAIRE VITUCCI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Los Angeles police detectives were heading to New York City late Wednesday to interview a mother and son, who are being questioned there in connection with the sensational disappearance of a wealthy socialite, about the shooting death of a Granada Hills man.

LAPD detectives want to question Sante Kimes, 63, and her son Kenneth Kimes, 23, about the death of 63-year-old David Kazdin, whose body was found in a trash bin near Los Angeles International Airport on March 14, said Det. Dennis English.

Witnesses have told LAPD detectives that Kazdin met the Kimeses more than 20 years ago when they were introduced in Las Vegas, English said. The details of their relationship are sketchy, police said, but detectives are investigating the possibility that Sante Kimes may be responsible for a fraudulent bank loan taken out in January in Kazdin's name.

"It appears the link with our victim is with loan fraud over some residential property" in Las Vegas, English said.

Before his death, Kazdin had been ready to retire from a copying business he ran from his house. Friends and family told police Kazdin was a "very likable guy," whose slaying was a shock.

Sante and Kenneth Kimes were being held in a New York City jail Wednesday night. A joint federal and local law enforcement task force arrested them Sunday night on warrants issued April 4, in Cedar City, Utah, accusing them of using a bogus check to buy a luxury car for $14,973.50.

Meanwhile, New York police are also questioning the Kimeses in the mysterious disappearance of wealthy New York widow Irene Silverman, 82, last seen by an employee Sunday morning, wandering around in a nightgown at her lavish turn-of-the-century mansion. The employee called police later that day after failing to find Silverman in the mansion.

Kenneth Kimes had rented a $6,000-a-month apartment in Silverman's home on June 14.

Neither of the Kimeses have been arrested in her disappearance. But fears were heightened after New York investigators discovered that Los Angeles police want to question the pair in Kazdin's death.

When the Kimeses were arrested Sunday in New York, Sante Kimes was found with Silverman's passport, some of her checks and her bank account information, the New York Daily News reported.

New York police continued their search for Silverman on Wednesday, scouring Central Park and trash bins in an attempt to locate her body. They did find Kenneth Kimes' green, late-model Lincoln Continental on Wednesday night and were in the process of obtaining a search warrant to inspect it, NYPD Officer Cheryl Cox said.

The Los Angeles and New York police departments plan to jointly investigate the Kimeses, English said, adding that the New York and Los Angeles cases "appear to be quite similar."

Associated Press contributed to this story.

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