Four Arrested in Murder-for-Hire Plot Targeting 96-Year-Old California Woman

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Authorities in Santa Barbara, California, have made a significant breakthrough in the case of the death of a 96-year-old woman. Four individuals have been taken into custody in connection with the tragic incident, shedding light on a murder-for-hire scheme that targeted the victim, Violet Evelyn Alberts.

During a press conference, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office revealed the arrests of Pauline Macareno, Harry Masmadjian, Henry Rostomyan, and Ricardo MarinDelCampo. Over the past 22 months, authorities have been tirelessly investigating Alberts’ death, which was discovered by her caretaker in her Montecito home.

It was uncovered that the suspects orchestrated an elaborate reverse mortgage scam to unlawfully gain control of Alberts’ property. Pauline Macareno was sentenced to six years in prison for fraudulent activities related to the case, while Basmadjian and Rostomyan were arrested earlier this year. MarinDelCampo was the most recent to be taken into custody.

Rostomyan and MarinDelCampo are currently being held without bail at the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of murder and conspiracy to murder Alberts. Basmadjian, who is facing similar charges, experienced a severe medical emergency while in federal custody, leaving him incapacitated with a grim prognosis.

With a total of 10,424 investigative hours invested in solving Alberts’ case, detectives are urging anyone with additional information to come forward. The investigation is ongoing, emphasizing the importance of community cooperation in shedding light on the circumstances surrounding Alberts’ tragic death.

For those who may have tips or information, detectives can be reached at 805-681-4150, while anonymous submissions can be made by contacting 805-681-4171. The recent arrests mark a significant step in bringing justice to Alberts and closure to her loved ones during this challenging time.