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Arrest Made In North Highlands High School Murder

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department

Update 8:04 p.m.: (AP) - A high-profile defense attorney has taken the case of a teenager accused of killing an 86-year-old woman who was out for her morning walk on a high school track in California.

Linda Parisi, well-known in the Sacramento area, said she just got the case and doesn't have a lot of details, but it's "a lot more complicated than it appears."

Eighteen-year-old Neven Glen Butler is jailed on suspicion of murder in the beating death of Fusako Petrus on Wednesday.

Update 10:28 a.m.: The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reports that homicide detectives have arrested Neven Glen Butler, 18, for the murder of 86-year-old Fusako Petrus. Butler, of North Highlands, was already in custody on unrelated assault and elder abuse charges from an April 26 arrest. 

Department spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull says that Butler is ineligible for bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in the Sacramento Superior Court on May 1. 

Update 6:07 p.m.: An 18-year-old man who's in custody for an assault Wednesday afternoon is considered a person of interest in the murder of an 86-year-old woman at Highlands High School that also occurred Wednesday.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department says the teen was picked up for the separate assault of an elderly woman near Fair Oaks Boulevard and Howe Avenue.

Sergeant Tony Turnbull says for now, the department is not releasing the his name.

"Basically where we're at in the investigation, you know, we're able to say he's a strong person of interest, but don't want to release his name in connection with the homicide until we're absolutely sure," he says.

Witnesses to Wednesday morning's sexual assault and murder in North Highlands described the attacker as a man in his 30s.

Turnbull says it's common for descriptions to vary widely from the actual age, based on various factors, including lighting and distance.

Officials identified the victim who died from the attack as Fusako Petrus, a North Highlands resident.

Original Post: (AP) - Northern California police say they have detained a young man in the apparently random beating death of an 86-year-old woman on a morning walk around a high school track.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department says the 18-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of assaulting another elderly woman later in the day several miles away. Investigators say the teen is a person of interest in the homicide, but he has not been charged.

Authorities declined to identify the suspect and the victims.

Investigators say the 86-year-old woman and a 61-year-old companion were walking on a high school track when a man punched and kicked them around 6 a.m. Wednesday, killing the older woman. Another person walking on the track called police.

Police say the attack appeared to be random.

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