MURDER CAUGHT ON ZOOM: California woman stabbed while on Zoom call with work

A colleague of a California teacher told police she witnessed a violent attack while on a work Zoom call. Police say a teacher and her brother are now dead.

According to a news release by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Alta Dena police responded to a call on March 22, regarding a possible kidnapping in progress at a residence along the 3000 block of North Marengo Avenue in the Los Angeles area.

When deputies arrived, they found a deceased male in the driveway with multiple stab wounds. Inside the residence, authorities found a deceased female.

While investigating the incident, authorities learned that the female victim was videoconferencing over Zoom with someone who witnessed the male being forcefully pulled away. According to Lt. Barry Hall of the sheriff’s department, the female victim was sitting on her living room couch when the attack occurred.

“The person that the lady was still talking to on the Zoom with when the male was dragged out of the house, that alerted her and the suspect went inside and attacked her,” Hall said.

The victims have been identified as Dr. Carol Brown, 67, and her brother, Kenneth Preston, 69. Brown and Preston were siblings, according to police.

During the investigation, authorities learned that a family vehicle, an SUV, was missing from the home. Around an hour or so after the attack, Preston’s son, Robert Cotton, returned to the residence, but Hall said the man hid the SUV before going back to the home. Authorities later found the SUV.

“Since we arrived here at the location, a person of interest returned to the scene in the victim’s vehicle and he has since been detained,” Lt. Barry Hall of the Sheriff’s Department told KTLA 5.

After questioning Cotton, police arrested him on suspicion of two counts of murder. The suspect told investigators that he lived at the residence. It’s unclear at this time what led to Cotton’s arrest or what the motive was.

Cotton is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles on a $2 million bond amount. He’s scheduled to appear for his next court hearing at the Pasadena Superior Court on March 25.

Check back for updates.

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