Valerie Lundeen, the wife of Tarzan actor Ron Ely has been confirmed dead after she was killed at their Santa Barbara home on Tuesday night Oct. 15.
NBC News report that police responded to a family disturbance call and discovered the woman’s body at about 8:15 p.m. local time. The suspect was later killed in an officer-involved shooting at the scene at the exclusive Hope Ranch residential community along the Santa Barbara coast.
Ely, 81, who portrayed Tarzan in the TV series in the 1960s, was reported as safe by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s department.
Lt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office told CNN the woman was stabbed to death.
Police said the suspect was armed and presented as a threat. Raney said: ‘We wanted to make sure all the residents were safe while we searched the area.
‘We had initially called in the air support unit and neighboring law enforcement agencies to come help in the search and when we were able to locate the suspect on the property of the homicide, and after the confrontation, we lifted the shelter in place. We don’t believe there is any further threat to the public.’
Police found the suspect hiding during a search of the home.
Raney added: ‘We don’t know exactly how many shots were fired. We did have several deputies that were involved in the shooting. Fortunately all of our deputies are OK.’
Lundeen was a former Miss Florida USA, taking the title in 1981. The couple had been married for 35 years and she and Ely had three children together, Kirsten, Kaitland, and Cameron.