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Missing man, fiancee accused of burglary at home of Nicolas Cage's ex

November 26, 2013|By Hector Becerra

The man who claimed he was abducted while walking his dog is now in police custody, along with his fiancee, on suspicion of burglarizing the home of Nicolas Cage's former girlfriend.

Darwin Vela, 22, and Kelly McLaren, 24, were arrested in Inglewood on Monday and jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail each, said Los Angeles police Sgt. Cleon Joseph. They are suspected of breaking into the home of Christina Fulton in August, along with a man named Ricardo Orozco.

Just last week, McLaren was using the media to ask the public's help in finding Vela after she said he never returned home while taking their chocolate Labrador out for a walk in South L.A. She said she discovered the dog outside "cowering" and noticed blood on its leash.

Vela reportedly disappeared two days before he and McLaren were to take the stand Thursday to testify against Orozco in the Fulton burglary case. He turned up a day later on the Westside, where he flagged down a motorist, who alerted police.

Now the couple are behind bars on suspicion of taking part in the very burglary that McLaren claimed they had witnessed.

Among the items stolen from the movie star's ex-girlfriend's home were computers. 

"Without us, there isn't a case," McLaren said.

Prosecutors confirmed that the couple were to be key witnesses against Orozco. But when McLaren took the stand Thursday, she invoked her 5th Amendment right not to testify, according to district attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison. And a police detective who took the stand discussed an encounter involving Orozco, Vela, McLaren and an attorney who has represented actor Charlie Sheen.

The detective said that before the break-in, the trio met with the attorney and told him they knew of a sex tape involving Sheen, Robison said. They said they did not have the tape, the detective testified, and the attorney told them he would talk only to someone who had it.

Robison said the supposed sex tape has not turned up, and officials question whether it even exists.

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Twitter: @hbecerraLATimes 

hector.becerra@latimes.com

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