Background on Theo Lengyel and Relationship with Victim
Theo Lengyel, a former member of experimental rock band Mr. Bungle, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the remains of his long-time girlfriend, Alice “Alyx” Herrmann, were discovered in a Northern California park. According to reports, Lengyel had been uncooperative with the investigation into Herrmann’s disappearance.
Lengyel, 55, was a founding member of Mr. Bungle, serving as saxophonist and keyboardist. The band was formed in Eureka, California in 1985 and gained a cult following, releasing several albums before disbanding in 2000.
Herrmann, 32, had been dating Lengyel for over a year and was reported missing in mid-December by her sister after not being seen for several days. She lived with Lengyel at his home in Santa Cruz County.
Human Remains Discovered, Lengyel Arrested
On January 2nd, hikers discovered human remains in Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley, CA. The following day, Lengyel was taken into custody at his home in El Cerrito on suspicion of Herrmann’s murder.DNA analysis confirmed that the remains belonged to Herrmann.
“We believe foul play was involved,” said Capitola PD Chief Andrew Dally at a press conference. “We have our suspect and we will prove he is responsible.”
Lengyel had been avoiding police interviews and was named a person of interest two weeks prior. Evidence of blood was also found at his house.
Timeline of Events in Herrmann’s Disappearance
Herrmann was last seen on December 13th:
|Herrmann spotted leaving her job at coffee shop in Capitola, CA
|Herrmann’s sister reports her missing after not hearing from her for 2 days
|Lengyel named person of interest but does not agree to police interview
|Hikers find human remains later confirmed to be Herrmann
|Lengyel arrested on suspicion of Herrmann’s murder
Tensions Led up to Alleged Crime
Those close to the couple said the relationship was strained in recent months. Lengyel is reported to have had drug and alcohol issues that exacerbated mental health problems.
Lengyel will be formally charged in the Santa Cruz court. He is currently being held without bail in Santa Cruz County Jail. His arraignment was postponed during an emergency court closure.
If tried and convicted, Lengyel faces 25 years to life in prison.
Continued Investigation and Support for Herrmann
Herrmann’s body has been returned to her family. Her sister has set up a GoFundMe to assist with burial costs that has already raised over $7,000. Several tribute events and concerts are also being planned in Herrmann’s memory by the Santa Cruz music community.
Meanwhile, the police will continue examining evidence found at Lengyel’s home and investigating the dynamics of the couple’s relationship. They are asking anyone with additional information to come forward.
“The lack of cooperation early on was frustrating, but now we will get justice for Alyx and her family,” said District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell.
The tragic case has shocked fans of Lengyel’s former band Mr. Bungle and residents of the tight-knit Santa Cruz music scene. Many expressed disbelief that the musician who was once an integral member of the community is now accused of such a horrific crime against his longtime partner.
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