LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police on Monday arrested a couple on suspicion of burglarizing the home of Nicolas Cage’s former girlfriend — a case that turned bizarre when the man disappeared for three days and left behind his dog and a bloody leash.
Darwin Vela, 22, and his fiancee, Kelly McLaren, 24, were arrested in neighboring Inglewood by Los Angeles police detectives and remained jailed on $20,000 bail each.
There was no answer Monday evening at a phone number for McLaren. Police didn’t know whether she or Vela had obtained attorneys.
The couple are suspected of involvement in an August burglary at the home of former Cage girlfriend Christina Fulton. A computer and other items were stolen.
Ricardo Orozco, a two-time convicted felon, has been charged with the burglary and receiving stolen property. Investigators believe that the couple were in the getaway car during the theft, Lt. Bill Melendez said.
At Orozco’s preliminary hearing last week, a police detective testified that sometime before the burglary, Orozco, Vela and McLaren met with an attorney who represents Charlie Sheen and claimed there was a sex tape involving the “Anger Management” star, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
The prosecutor’s office said the three never produced the recording and there’s no evidence it exists. However, police were investigating whether the purported tape might have been the target of the burglary.
Vela had been ordered to testify as a key witness at Orozco’s Thursday hearing, but he never showed up.
He reportedly had vanished that Tuesday night while taking his 3-year-old chocolate Labrador, Koco, for a nighttime walk in South Los Angeles. His fiancee said the dog returned to their home whimpering and with a smear of blood on its leash.
Vela had red marks, scrapes and bruises when he was found Friday afternoon two blocks from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division station.
Vela told detectives that he was confronted by three men during the walk, got into a fight during which one man pulled a gun, and then went into hiding. Police said he gave only vague descriptions of the men but the purported assault is under investigation.
Meanwhile, Orozco is facing trial. He has two previous robbery convictions, and under California’s “three-strikes” law could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
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