Sunday, November 8, 2009
Lauren Sarene Key, late summer, 2000.
Nine years ago today, in the early afternoon of November 8th, four-year-old Lauren Sarene Key ended up dead at the bottom of Inspiration Point, a 120-foot sheer cliff face in Ranch Palos Verdes. That day, Lauren was on a court-ordered visitation with her father, Cameron Brown, who drove her to the Abalone Cove parking lot where they set out on an approximate one-mile hike. To this day, only two people know what really happened to cause Lauren to lose her life in such a dangerous place. Her father, Cameron Brown and Lauren.
Much later that night back at the Sheriff's station, Brown was interviewed by LA Co. Sheriff's Homicide detectives for approximately three hours. According to Detective Jeffery Leslie, Brown gave three slightly different versions as to what happened to Lauren on the southeast section of Inspiration Point. That single interview would be the one and only time Brown cooperated with authorities investigating the death of his daughter.
Brown was arrested on first degree murder charges in 2003. Because of the special circumstances of lying-in-wait and murder for financial gain bail was denied. He's been in the custody of LA Co. Sheriff's ever since. Two hung juries later, (all jurors from both trials agreed that Brown was guilty of something, they just couldn't decide on what charge) Brown is still waiting to find out if DDA Craig Hum will bring this case to trial a third time.
On October 29th, Brown's defense team missed a court ordered date to file motions to argue for Brown to be released on bail and/or to have the case dismissed all together. Judge Michael Pastor ordered a new date of December 17th, 2009, for the filing of defense motions.
People who knew Lauren described her as a bright light who talked up a storm. She enjoyed going to church and being around other people. She was a very sociable child who enjoyed connecting with others. Lauren was a "girly-girl" who also enjoyed playing dress-up and playing with her dolls. She was not a tomboy who played rough-house with other children or knew how to swim. Supposedly, Lauren did not like to go on hikes. Please take a moment to light a candle in remembrance of little Lauren today.
Quick links to T&T's coverage of Brown's retrial.