This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Ex-Tournament of Roses Volunteer Accused of Murdering Mistress and Dumping Her Body in Trunk in 2004 [UPDATED]
An ex-Tournament of Roses volunteer with a squeaky-clean image is being held in the 2004 murder of another volunteer Donna Kelly, 59, who disappeared before her daughter found her body in her mothers car.Detectives say that DNA evidence linked Richard Allan Munnecke, 71, of Alhambra was found on Kelly's decomposed body. Investigators believe Kelly was having an affair with Munnecke, a family guy who his fellow volunteers in the Tournament of Roses, Rotary Club and at his church couldn't say enough about.
"That's shocking," Mike Ward, a former Tournament of Roses director told the Pasadena Star-News. "It's almost like it's the wrong guy." He added: "I knew them both. I've known Allan for years. He's been a real man about town. Rotarian. University Club. A real volunteer in the city."
Kelly was a single woman, and she worked in car sales. Recently, she had become depressed and rarely left the house.
Photo of Donna Kelly courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
It is believed that Kelly was killed at her home in San Gabriel before being dumped in the trunk of her car. Her daughter Diane Kelly found her three weeks after her mother went missing, detectives said. She told the Star-News that others suspected her and her boyfriend of killing her mother, even though they were ruled out as suspects early on.The case went cold after an investigation in 2004, but the Sheriff's department got a grant to collect DNA evidence from Munnecke again and run tests. Detectives found a match and arrested him on Wednesday.
UPDATED 11:15 am: The District Attorney's Office announced today that they're declining to charge Munnecke with anything, saying that there isn't enough evidence to prove that he murdered Kelly.