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Tearful Ventura County sheriff announces arrest in Faria Beach couple’s death

April 12, 2010 |  4:27 pm

Ventura County Sheriff Bob Brooks had tears in his eyes Monday afternoon as he announced the arrest of a 20-year-old Ventura man in the stabbing deaths of a Faria Beach couple last year.

Joshua Graham Packer was arrested Sunday and has been charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of Brock and Davina Husted last May. The third count is because Davina was six months pregnant at the time of her death.

Brooks said the Sheriff's Department identified Packer through a DNA match after he was arrested on felony charges in Santa Barbara and his DNA was entered into a federally funded identification system.

The match was made about two weeks ago, said Gary Pentis, a chief deputy for the Sheriff's Department. Deputies arrested Packer on another, unspecified charge, then released him and kept him under surveillance in order to obtain more evidence in the slayings of the Husteds.

Packer also was charged with two counts of robbery. He is to be arraigned Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court.

Authorities would not say what was taken from the Husteds' home in the gated community. There was no indication, however, that the suspect knew the Husteds, said Pentis.

The Husteds, both 42, died of multiple stab wounds. Their two children, ages 9 and 11, were in the house when the killings occurred.

"This is a very huge milestone," said Scott Husted, Brock's brother, who spoke at the news conference. He described Packer as "a sick individual who came to rob them. Something went wrong and he killed them."

Sheriff's officials said they had found no connection between the slaying of the Husteds and the subsequent stabbing death of Wendy DiRodio in the Ventura Keys community two weeks later.

-- Steve Chawkins in Ventura

Photo: Family photo