Pasadena Man Charged with Murder of Elderly Arcadia Woman, Could Face Death Penalty

Published : Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | 1:39 PM

The victim, Chyong Jen Tsai. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.

A Pasadena man was charged Tuesday with the murder of a 76-year-old Arcadia woman at her home during a burglary and robbery earlier this month.

Authorities said that Heber Enoc Diaz, 27, used a hammer, a jab saw and a box cutter to beat, stab and strangle to death Chyong Jen Tsai.

Tsai’s body was found by a construction worker in the backyard of her residence in the 300 block of East Forest Avenue in Arcadia, on Tuesday, April 9 at approximately 7:00 a.m.

Diaz was charged with one count each of murder, elder or dependent adult abuse resulting in death, first-degree residential burglary and second- degree robbery, along with two counts of second-degree burglary.

He could face the death penalty if the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office decides to seek it and he is subsequently convicted.

Diaz has been held without bail since he was arrested last Friday leaving his Pasadena residence at about 10:30 a.m., a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. spokesperson said.

Tsai’s car was missing from her home at the time her body was found. The car was later found in the 900 block of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock on April 18.

Authorities said Diaz was arrested without incident and booked for murder at Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles. He is being held without bail.

Authorities have not released any information as to a motive for the murder.

There had been a $20,000 reward approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for information leading to an arrest in this case. However, since investigators developed the leads which resulted in Diaz’s arrest without community tips, that money is expected to go unclaimed.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

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