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Ex-Tournament of Roses director arrested in cold-case homicide

February 9, 2012 |  9:03 am
Richard Allan Munnecke, a 71-year-old Alhambra man arrested this week in connection with a 2004 slaying, is a former Tournament of Roses director

A 71-year-old Alhambra man arrested this week in connection with a 2004 slaying is a former Tournament of Roses director.

DNA evidence linked Richard Allan Munnecke to the death of Donna Lee Kelly, 59, whose body was found in the trunk of her car three weeks after she was reported missing in April 2004, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Her body was found by her daughter as she drove through Eaton Canyon in Pasadena and "smelled a foul odor emanating from the trunk," the department said in a statement. "She looked inside and found her mother's decomposed body."

The Pasadena Star-News reported that Munnecke's arrest startled three former Tournament of Roses presidents, including Mike Ward, who served in 1994 and 1995.

"That's shocking," Ward told the newspaper Wednesday night. "It's almost like it's the wrong guy. I knew them both. I've known Allan for years. He's been a real man about town. Rotarian. University Club. A real volunteer in the city."

Others said they were shocked by the news and described Munnecke as a mild-mannered, nice man who volunteered in the community.

Kelly had been romantically involved with Munnecke, who was married, according to authorities.

The case had gone cold until detectives recently gathered new evidence and obtained a DNA sample from Munnecke. He was being held Wednesday night in lieu of $1-million bail.

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-- Andrew Blankstein and Kimi Yoshino
twitter.com/anblanx

Photo: Richard Allan Munnecke. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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