AP Graphics Bank
Hide Caption

Alleged killer of wife, sister was doting husband

a a a a
Share this story

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Neighbors recall Lance Holger Anderson as a nice, chatty guy who was always ready to help; the kind of person who fixed a flat tire for an elderly neighbor, gave away a Christmas tree to another, and doted on his ailing wife.

So there was shock in his pleasant Canyon Country neighborhood on Wednesday when police arrested Anderson on suspicion of killing his wife, then shooting to death his comatose sister at a Los Angeles nursing home.

The 60-year-old was "the sweetest guy you could ever imagine," neighbor Grace Madrigal said, holding back tears.

The shootings were apparent mercy killings, Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Vernon said.

The family said Anderson's 63-year-old wife had dementia and his sister, Lisa Nave, 58, had been in the Country Villa Sheraton for five years and was in a "vegetative state" when he allegedly walked into the northern Los Angeles nursing home on Wednesday morning and shot her in the head, Vernon said.

"I want people to understand that this man did not randomly walk into a hospital to commit this crime," Vernon said.

A resident, David Chabolla, said the gunshot sounded like a balloon popping. He saw Anderson sitting in the nursing home's courtyard with his head down before police arrested him on suspicion of murder.

A small-caliber handgun was recovered, police said. Anderson remained jailed.

After hearing about the killing, concerned family members contacted authorities and asked them to check on his wife's welfare. Her body was found Wednesday morning in the couple's three-bedroom townhome on a leafy, curving street in the Canyon Country area of Santa Clarita, a northern Los Angeles County suburb.

She had been shot with the gun found at the nursing home, a sheriff's statement said.

It wasn't immediately clear if Anderson had a lawyer who could comment on the case. Calls to home and cellphone numbers listed in public records went unanswered.

Anderson and his wife moved into their home about five or six months ago, neighbors said.

Anderson "was introducing himself to anybody that was going into the driveway" of the townhome complex, Madrigal recalled.

Anderson said the couple had come from Arizona because of his wife's health. While he often left in the mornings, she was more reclusive, exchanging a few words while smoking or drinking coffee on the couple's balcony, Madrigal said.

"He treated her like she was a jewel ... because she was so fragile" and was sometimes seen on the balcony with her, caressing her hand, Madrigal said.

Kristen and Lee Booker said Anderson offered them food and help moving furniture after fire damaged their home in September. Another neighbor recalled Anderson fixing her flat tire.

Two weeks ago, Anderson offered Madrigal his artificial Christmas tree.

He told Madrigal that the couple wouldn't be doing anything for Christmas this year, she said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More National News
Fighter, advocate 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76
Fighter, advocate 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a one-time middleweight title contender whose murder convictions became an international symbol of racial…

Pot holiday '4/20' looks to go mainstream in CO
Pot holiday '4/20' looks to go mainstream in CO

Denver police say they have issued 28 citations for public consumption of marijuana and arrested one person accused of attempting to…

PD: Man pelts GF with eggs at Easter party
PD: Man pelts GF with eggs at Easter party

Pittsburgh police say a man threw hardboiled eggs at his girlfriend during an Easter egg decorating party, then tried to attack police.

Boston Strong for a cause: Team MR8 ready to run
Boston Strong for a cause: Team MR8 ready to run

The Boston Marathon has meant more to Fran Fidler than he can put into words.

Mike Canan: Boston Marathon more than a race
Mike Canan: Boston Marathon more than a race

The 2014 Boston Marathon wasn't in runner Mike Canan's plans, after completing the 2013 race two hours before the bombing. But…

Boston kid wants to win Boston Marathon for city
Boston kid wants to win Boston Marathon for city

Shalane Flanagan grew up in nearby Marblehead with a reverence for the Boston Marathon and dreamed, like many locals and foreign…

VIDEO: Obama calls Easter time for hope, renewal
VIDEO: Obama calls Easter time for hope, renewal

President Barack Obama is encouraging Americans to draw strength and inspiration from the Easter and Passover holidays.

Woman finds body while hunting for Easter eggs
Woman finds body while hunting for Easter eggs

A Tennessee woman says she made a grisly discovery while hunting for Easter eggs in her back yard with her 3-year-old son: a dead body.

REPLAY: SpaceX rocket blasts off from Cape
REPLAY: SpaceX rocket blasts off from Cape

A SpaceX commercial rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral on schedule Friday afternoon and is heading to the International Space Station.

U.S. power grid vulnerable, experts warn
U.S. power grid vulnerable, experts warn

“The destruction of more than three transmission substations would cause long-term blackouts in many areas of the country,”…