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October 22, 2014

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Police say Las Vegas man admits killing roommate, is arrested in LA

Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 5:05 p.m.

A Las Vegas man who allegedly phoned police Wednesday to tell them he had murdered his roommate was arrested after Metro Police entered his apartment and found a woman dead.

Martin Skropeta, 54, was in Los Angeles when he called 911 and told police he had killed his roommate, Kelli Keesee, days earlier, Metro said. The Los Angeles Police Department informed Metro of the call at 12:19 a.m., and police were dispatched to the residence in the 500 block of Elm Drive, just south of the Las Vegas Convention Center. When they arrived, they found a woman dead.

According to a police report, Skropeta said he got into a physical altercation with Keesee after she told him to move out of the apartment Sunday afternoon because he had failed to pay rent.

Skropeta told police that Keesee had been under the influence of drugs and medication.

Skropeta alleges that as he was packing his belongings, which included a set of chef's knifes, Keesee picked them up and started throwing them at him, and one poked him in the chest.

Keesee then allegedly picked up a child-size baseball bat and hit Skropeta in the hand, elbow and knee, the police report said.

Skropeta told police he wrestled with Keesee for the bat before gaining control of it, placing it across her neck as she lay on the kitchen floor. He said heard a crunching sound and noticed blood as Keesee began to gurgle.

After checking for a pulse and finding none, he put a bag over her head and placed her in a bathtub, covering her with a towel, the police report said.

Skropeta then allegedly cleaned up and drove Keesee's silver Hyundai to Los Angeles, where he planned to kill himself.

He told a California Highway Patrol call taker that he was standing on top of a cliff and had a gun and heroin on which to overdose, police said.

Skropeta stayed on the line for about one hour and 45 minutes while law enforcement in the Los Angeles area searched for him. The LAPD took him into custody about 1:55 a.m. Wednesday.

Metro detectives traveled to California to interview Skropeta and later arrested him on counts of murder with a deadly weapon and grand larceny auto. He is awaiting extradition.

Keesee had been listed as a missing person after her father and sister told Metro that they had not heard from her since Sunday.

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