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Body Found in Burned-Out Modeling and Acting Agency Office

February 29, 2000

The discovery of a charred body after a fire that gutted the offices of a West Hollywood modeling and acting agency has triggered homicide and arson investigations.

Police said the body of a man, who has not been identified, was found in the offices of CHN International Agency in the 7400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard after a fire Sunday afternoon.

The building appeared to have burned in several places at once, indicating arson, authorities said.

Sheriff's investigators, looking for the owner of the agency, 78-year-old Harold Guthu, brought in a bloodhound, which found his car several blocks away on Martel Avenue.

Clients and colleagues said the agency specialized in placing people in soft porn magazines and films, but also dealt with some mainstream films.

Lauren Montgomery said she had been a client of Guthu's for three years and that he helped her get a bit part in the Warren Beatty movie "Town and Country." She described Guthu as "the sweetest man you ever met."

In 1970, Guthu shot a film with adult/soft porn director Ed Wood Jr.

Reb Sawitz, another adult-model agent, had been trying to contact Guthu after the fire. "He's one of the good guys in this industry," Sawitz said.

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