Police Have Suspect in Suitcase Body Homicide

By Lori Preuitt
|  Friday, Jun 4, 2010  |  Updated 10:12 PM PDT
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Police Have Suspect in Suitcase Body Homicide

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San Francisco police announced two breaks in high profile crime cases Friday.

They said they have a suspect in custody in the hit and run rampage on Wednesday that left three bicyclist in the hospital.  Read article here.

They also announced they have a suspect in custody in connection to another disturbing case where a woman's body was found stuffed inside a suitcase on the shores of the San Francisco Bay.

Police said Lee Bell, 47, killed Pearla Louis. They said the two had a relationship and that there were police reports that he had abused her in the past.

Police say the sheriff's department has had Bell in custody since May 21.  He was being held on a grand theft probation violation.

They announced Bell's arrest Friday, but said the break in the case came last Thursday, although they would not elaborate.

Louis, 52, of San Francisco, was last heard from on May 15 when she and her daughter had their daily morning phone call.   

Her family reported her missing two days later.

Then her body was discovered on May 18 near the Embarcadero at Folsom Street.      Police say she had been dead for 48 hours.

Louis' family has spent weeks canvassing the Embarcadero, the Tenderloin and the area of Church and Duboce streets, where Louis was  known to spend time, hoping to find someone who knew what happened to her.  

They also held several memorials in hopes of keeping the case in the public eye.

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