Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 3:35 am | Fair 66º


Local News

Victim Identified in Mission Hills Stabbing Death

Phillip Joseph Johnson, 23, is suspected of killing Asta Marie Elliott, 64, in the home they shared near Lompoc

Phillip Joseph Johnson
Phillip Joseph Johnson

Santa Barbara County sheriff‘s officials late Thursday released the identity of a 64-year-old Mission Hills woman who was stabbed to death in her home the night before.

The body of Asta Marie Elliott, 64, who had suffered knife wounds, was found in the bedroom of her residence on the 1700 block of Calle Lindero late Wednesday night, according to sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars.

Phillip Joseph Johnson, 23, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder in connection with the slaying, and was being held at Santa Barbara County Jail, Sugars said. Bail was set at $1 million.

Johnson, who also lives at the residence, was taken into custody without incident at about 9:40 a.m., after sheriff’s deputies and Lompoc police officers located him at H Street and College Avenue in Lompoc, Sugars said.

A 9-1-1 hang-up shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday led deputies to Elliot’s home and the grisly discovery, Sugars said. Following departmental policy, the dispatcher called back, and was told by a man who answered that there was no problem at the residence, according to Sheriff Bill Brown.

However, deputies were dispatched to the home, and a search of the residence turned up Elliott’s body, Brown said.

Reverse notification calls through the 9-1-1 system were sent out after the homicide was discovered, warning nearby residents to stay in their homes and report anything suspicious, Sugars said. A later call advised residents it was OK to go about their normal business.

Detectives and the forensic unit remained on scene throughout much of the day Thursday.

Sheriff’s officials have not offered any possible motive in the case.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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