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Blood, car paint grim setting in Las Vegas

Detectives report finding traces of blood not believed to be human

Posted: July 1, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Drug trafficking, car theft and fly-by-night nightclubs are commonplace in the “run-down” neighborhood of North Las Vegas where a blood-stained Jeep belonging to murdered local woman Renata Klein was recovered, area residents said Thursday.

On Sunday, officers with the North Las Vegas Police Department found the vehicle wanted in connection with Klein’s murder and with the disappearance of her husband, Dusan Klein.

Sheriff’s investigators in Los Angeles said Thursday that blood was found in Renata Klein’s gold-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee, but that it wasn’t the blood of a human.

The Jeep, found abandoned in North Las Vegas on Sunday, was delivered back to Los Angeles where the investigation continues into the murder of Renata Klein and search for Dusan Klein, her husband.

‘No one would notice’
The Jeep was found in an alley behind the former Bar Y Night Club, a vacant building boarded up about a year ago, on East Lake Mead Boulevard at Crawford Street, less than a mile from the Las Vegas strip.

“I didn’t see the car,” said Lorraine Pledger, who works in the 7-Eleven convenience store next to the former night club. “But that doesn’t mean anything. This is the largest car-theft area in the nation.”

Pledger has had two cars stolen from the area in the time she’s worked at the store, she said.

She and her coworkers have a clear, unobstructed view of the alley where the Klein’s car sat abandoned for about two weeks, she said.

An official close to the case, who asked not to be identified, described the area as “a place you go to buy drugs.”

Osmaida, who would only give her first name, works as a Realtor selling properties in the area of Crawford and Lake Mead.

“No one would notice if the car was left there for a month,” she said.

“It’s sort of like a run-down area. It’s not like you’re living in an upscale part of town,” she said. “For a car to be parked there and left for several days, that won’t be a big deal.”

The Bar Y Night Club had changed hands at least three or four times, she said, since it received a liquor license as the Messin Around Lounge back in 2001.

Nearly 3 weeks missing
The Kleins were reported missing nearly three weeks ago, along with the family dog and the Jeep.

“There was some indication that the car had been there for some time,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Martindale said of the abandoned Jeep found Sunday.

“Blood was found in the vehicle, but it is not human,” he said Thursday.

The Kleins, both 59, were last seen at their Canyon Country home on Wildwind Road June 11 with their black-and-white cocker spaniel dog Cindy.

Animal shelters in California have been notified about the missing dog and urged to call detectives if it turns up. A friend of Renata Klein said the dog was in need of expensive surgery.

The body of Renata Klein was found June 15 in a remote section of the Angeles National Forest along an isolated stretch of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road.

She had been asphyxiated, according a spokesman with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.


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