NORTH HIGHLANDS, Calif. – A young man has been arrested in the sexual assault and beating death of an 86-year-old California woman who was attacked as she tried to help a friend during a morning walk, officials said Friday.
Neven Glen Butler, 18, was arrested after he was detained on unrelated assault and elder abuse charges stemming from a separate attack that happened a few miles (kilometers) away also on Wednesday, said Sacramento Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull.
Homicide detectives tied Butler to the scene of the sexual assaults of 86-year-old Fusako Petrus and a 61-year-old friend earlier that same day, Turnbull said. Petrus died after she was badly beaten, while her younger friend was treated at the scene for injuries.
Butler is being held on suspicion of murder, without bail. He is set to be arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on Monday.
Petrus was killed after she tried to help her friend, who was the initial target of the attack, Turnbull said. She hit the attacker with her walking stick to try to fend off the man.
She was walking ahead of her friend on the running track of Highlands High School north of Sacramento when the suspect attacked the younger woman about 6 a.m., Turnbull said.
Butler was arrested that afternoon several miles (kilometers) away when he assaulted a 92-year-old woman, Turnbull said Friday. She was treated at a hospital for facial injuries, Turnbull said.
Butler was booked into the Sacramento County jail then on suspicion of felony assault and elder abuse charges