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Religious camp worker allegedly shoots, kills housekeeper

November 3, 2009 | 11:20 am

Investigators are trying to determine what may have led a religious camp employee to fatally shoot a 60-year-old housekeeper at the camp near San Bernardino.

Leith Hamilton, 30, was arrested Monday on suspicion of killing Celebrada Lomato-Sexton, 60, a housekeeper who lived and worked at the Camp Cedar Falls Campground and Conference Center in Angelus Oaks, about 15 miles east of San Bernardino.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were dispatched at 11:53 a.m. Monday after receiving a report of a woman's body found in a cabin.

Authorities arrested Hamilton, a camp employee, a few hours later. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the Southern California Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, which owns the camp, said Hamilton has worked there seven years. She did not release further information.

"They did know each other, because they both worked and lived at the camp," said Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. "But it's unknown why or what led to the shooting."

Violence has struck at least one other Southern California religious retreat this year. In April, a handyman at a Catholic retreat near Temecula went on a shooting rampage, killing one and injuring four.

--Tony Barboza

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