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Slain Woman Had Wanted Father to Move Out

January 22, 2003|Kenneth Reich | Times Staff Writer

Cathy Armstrong had been trying to persuade her 62-year-old father to move out of her Long Beach apartment in the weeks before she was beaten to death, allegedly by him, the apartment building's managers said Tuesday.

Long Beach police arrested Charles Armstrong on suspicion of killing her.

He had called police about 3 a.m. Monday and reported finding her on her bed, covered in blood, in her apartment in the 700 block of East 46th Street.

Police believe that she was killed with a baseball bat, spokesman Greg Schirmer said.

Estelle and Joe Ornelas, the apartment building's managers, said Cathy Armstrong, 42, an office manager at an engineering firm near her home, had told them that she had not seen her father for 37 years.

But then, she had told them, her divorce and his recent heart attack had brought them together.

The Ornelases said the retired Charles Armstrong was extremely possessive and had warned off a would-be boyfriend.

In November, Estelle Ornelas said, Cathy Armstrong "briefly threw her father out of the apartment."

Another tenant had heard the father and daughter arguing loudly hours before her body was found, the Ornelases said.

Police said they arrested Armstrong because of inconsistencies in his account.

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