California police investigating plumber for murder discover another possible victim after spotting odd bank transactions

News & Politics

California police believe a plumber would have gotten away with murdering an elderly man if they had not spotted an odd detail in his bank statements while investigating another murder.

38-year-old Rotherie Durell Foster was in jail for allegedly killing his friend in 2022, but he has also been charged for the murder of one his clients who was previously believed to have died of natural causes.

The Camarillo man was charged in the murder of 35-year-old José Antonio Velásquez, who also worked as a plumber. Velásquez went missing in July 2022, and his remains were found months later in the Santa Monica mountains, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office.

‘Potential for murder for financial gain.’

Prosecutors said that Foster used a gun to “violently” obtain financial information of Velásquez and then buy gas, clothing, and food with the stolen money.

While police were building their case against Foster for that murder, they noticed that he had a connection to the death of an elderly man whose remains were found on Jan. 10, 2022.

72-year-old Bill Dean Levy was found dead at his home in Granada Hills, and officials did not consider it a suspicious incident, so an autopsy was not conducted. Levy was believed to have died of natural causes, and his remains were buried.

That might have been the end of the story until detectives noticed that Levy had made multiple payments to Foster through his bank account.

The strange thing was that those payments were made on Jan. 11, a day after the man had died.

Police immediately suspected that the payments could have been a pattern similar to those made after the death of Velásquez, or as they described it, “potential for murder for financial gain.”

Investigators then discovered that Foster had completed plumbing work for Levy at his home several times.

In order to find out whether there was another homicide case, officials exhumed the remains of Levy. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office then found that he had not died of natural causes but from fentanyl exposure, and his cause of death was changed to homicide.

Officials said other evidence tied Foster to Levy’s death, and they charged him for his murder.

Even more possible victims

Police are investigating other suspicious bank exchanges from another Los Angeles man to Foster. And he has been charged in an armed robbery of a convenience store in July 2022.

Foster faces 33 felony charges including murder in the first degree, murder in the commission of a burglary, identity theft, and forgery.

He had previously been convicted as a juvenile of involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. Officials said he was sentenced to 21 years in prison, but they’re not sure how much of that he actually served.

Police said that Levy lived alone and donated his entire estate to numerous charities including the American Heart Association and Children’s Hospital.

Here’s the video news report about the case from KTLA-TV.

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