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Officer charged with killing rival in 1986

June 5, 2009 at 9:59 PM

LOS ANGELES, June 5 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles police detective was charged Friday with killing her former boyfriend's wife in 1986 when she was a young patrol officer.

Stephanie Ilene Lazarus, 49, was arrested at Parker Center, the police headquarters building, the Los Angeles Times reported. She allegedly beat and shot Sherri Rae Rasmussen, whose body was found by her husband in their condominium apartment.

"It's very bittersweet," Deputy Chie Charlie Beck, head of the detective bureau, said. "Our goal is to always bring people to justice, but this is somebody we know."

Rasmussen's death was long believed to be the work of two men who committed a robbery nearby just after she was killed. But they were never found.

Cold case detectives recently learned from DNA testing that the killer was probably a woman, and they found Lazarus's name in the file as the lover of Rasmussen's husband. They obtained a sample of her DNA surreptitiously and allege it matched material found at the crime scene 23 years ago.

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