Studio City News
Suspect Arrested In Death Of Maru
By Alex Mazariegos
Aug 27, 2013 - 3:04:31 PM

File photo of Maru the dog

STUDIO CITY—The Los Angeles Police Department recently arrested a suspect in connection to the death of Maru, a yellow lab retriever found dead inside a stolen minivan.


LAPD officials state that Danny Fis, 29, was arrested and booked for felony animal cruelty on Friday, August 23 at around 7:45 p.m. in North Hollywood. The arrest occurred near a golf course in the 4100 block of Whitsett Avenue, the site of Maru's death. Bail for Fis is set at $45,000.


Detectives from the LAPD's Animal Cruelty Task Force were tasked with the search for a suspect wanted for stealing a minivan from a parking lot at 12507 Ventura Boulevard at Whitsett Avenue in Studio City. On August 17, the booked suspect stole the dark blue Honda Odyssey from a shopping mall parking lot near a clothing store. The van's owner, Nayo Mateo, told LAPD officials that he left the air conditioning on as he retrieved his family from the store. Maru, his dog, was left inside the van. Fis then reportedly stole the van.


The vehicle, however, was discovered two days later on Whitsett Avenue in another parking lot. The windows were rolled up, and Maru was found dead within the van. A medical investigation states that the yellow lab died of heat exhaustion. According to reports, Fis was well aware of the dog residing in the van.


Two animal organizations have offered a reward in connection to the case. Mutt Match L.A. offered a $2,000 reward whereas PETA offered an even more substantial $5,000. It is unknown who will receive the combined $7,000 reward.


Those with more information on the crime are urged to contact the LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force, Detective Support and Vice Division at 213-486-0450. Any calls during non-business hours or on weekends should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Those wanting to contact the LAPD with information may also go to, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

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