A business owner with a celebrity clientele has been found murdered in California, police say.
Angela Kukawski was found dead in her parked car on December 23 when officers followed up on a missing persons case, according to an LAPD Press release. Kukawski was reported missing in Sherman Oaks the day before.
On Wednesday, authorities announced that Kukawski’s boyfriend, Jason Barker, 49, had been arrested on suspicion of murder. He is currently being held in Van Nuys prison, where the district attorney’s office has formally charged him with murder.
Barker was also charged with torture, according to the Los Angeles Time. The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said Kukawski died of acute, blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, as well as strangulation.
“Detectives believe Barker killed the victim at their Sherman Oaks residence, placed him inside his vehicle, and drove to Simi Valley,” the LAPD said in the statement.
LAPD officials said the victim’s body was discovered in the trunk of the car in the 1500 block of Patricia Avenue in Simi Valley, according to local reports.
Citing a criminal complaint obtained by The Times, prosecutors believe Barker killed Kukawski between Dec. 21 and 22.
Kukawski, 55, also known as Angela Castro, worked for Boulevard Management in Woodland Hills, according to Variety. The mother-of-five worked with a high-profile clientele and once had business relationships with the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West. the Boulevard management firm specializes in financial consulting, tax planning and other business relationships.
“We are saddened and heartbroken by the loss of our colleague, Angie Kukawski,” the company said in a statement to Variety. “Angie was a kind and wonderful person, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Our deepest condolences go out to all of Angie’s family and friends.
According to jail records, Barker is being held on $3.07 million bail and is due in court on January 12, 2022.
Anyone with information can contact the LAPD Valley Homicide Bureau at 818-374-9550 or file an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.