SANTA CRUZ (CBS / AP) — A Santa Cruz County man was found living with the badly decomposed body of a woman after neighbors called to complain of an unusual smell coming from inside the man’s studio apartment, police said Wednesday.

Santa Cruz police officers found the 30-year-old woman’s body after entering the apartment at about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Investigators haven’t been able to establish how the woman died because of the deteriorated state of her body, authorities said.

Investigators also haven’t determined how long the woman had been dead, but Santa Cruz deputy police Chief Steve Clark said he was comfortable saying it had been at least a week.

The apartment’s resident, 63-year-old John Clauer, was in custody on a no-bail parole hold based on a prior drug conviction, Clark said.

It wasn’t clear if Clauer and the woman were sharing the apartment as roommates or if they were romantically involved. Investigators were questioning neighbors and canvassing the area to try to figure out the relationship between the two, Clark said.

“If it is indeed a homicide, then he becomes a suspect,” Clark said. “He could also be charged with failure to report a death as appropriate.”

Clauer has had what Clark described as a “storied history” with Santa Cruz police, having been arrested previously on drug and alcohol related offenses, though it wasn’t clear how much time Clauer had served behind bars.

Clauer didn’t have an attorney by Wednesday evening.

An autopsy was planned for later this week. The woman’s name hasn’t been released.

Comments (8)
  1. Yvonne Travers says:

    What this world seriously needs is an enema.

  2. Dennis says:

    Santa Cruz is a notoriously liberal hippie town on the California coast. There are many John Clauer types thriving there and supported by both the citizens and local government. This comes as no surprise that he was walking the streets after a multiple convictions.

    1. Mpinga says:

      So it’s the liberals fault that this guy is so crazy?? You are about as politically psychotic as they come.

    2. ty says:

      Really… Santa Cruz is a Hippie town in California??? And it is on the coast?… like by the Pacific Ocean?… I didnt know this… I dont think anyone from California knew this…. (Sacrcasm)

  3. Gabrielle says:

    We just let ppl do whatever the hell they want these days. What a bytch…

  4. easynan says:

    I am living now in Gustine, CA because I could afford to buy here but I lived for many years in the Santa Cruz area and I will tell you the really strange people live over here. Teenagers damage others property mostly from a lack of anything else to do. And the game over here is to see how many animals you can run over pre day. I would love to be able to live again along the beach with people that leave you alone.

  5. Fidel says:

    all you complainers need JESUS CHRIST!

  6. Lil says:

    I am and have been a long time resident of santa cruz and feel very blessed to have known this beautiful young lady as i will call her an angel. She had a kind smile with a big heart and diserves to be at peace.

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