WOODLAND HILLS—Police arrested Monica Sementilli and her alleged lover, Robert Baker on Wednesday, June 14 in connection to the murder of Fabio Sementilli. Monica, 45, is charged for suspicion of her husband’s murder and is held without bail. A press conference on details of the arrest and murder has been scheduled for Friday, June 16.
Police served out multiple search warrants for Monica and Baker, Los Angeles Police Department officials said on Friday. Their scheduled arraignments were on Friday at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys.
Fabio’s daughter found his father’s body at 5 p.m. on January 23 on the patio of his home at 5000 block of Queen Victoria Road. He suffered stab wounds to his face, neck, and upper torso.
LAPD Robbery-Homicide Captain William Hayes indicated that Monica and Baker were involved in an “intimate relationship” for 18 months, during which she remained living with her husband.
Baker is a convicted sex offender and was charged in 1993 in Long Beach for lewd and lascivious acts to a minor. Witnesses reported seeing two suspects wearing hoodies “jogging” up to the Sementilli house 45 minutes before the murder.
DNA evidence gathered at the crime scene has been linked to Baker. Additional DNA samples found could not be matched in the state and national databases.
Police are still looking for another individual who they believe are connected with the crime. The suspect is described as between 5 feet and 5 inches to 5 feet and 7 inches with a tall and stocky build. Authorities found the victim’s 2008 911 Carrera Porsche abandoned five miles from his home. Private surveillance video showed a person leaving the vehicle.
Prosecutors are filing a special circumstances allegation against Sementilli’s wife and Baker for committing the crime for the purpose of financial gains, making the pair eligible for death penalty. Hayes indicated that Monica was not involved in the “actual physical act” of the murder, but was “directly involved” in planning it and “orchestrated things.” Police first suspected Fabio’s death to be a home-invasion robbery.
Monica was not near the crime scene on the night of the murder or near her home, Hayes confirmed. According to police, both Monica and Baker belonged to the same LA Fitness gym in Woodland Hills. Hayes believed insurance dividend was the motivator behind the murder. Monica is the direct beneficiary of her husband’s $1.6 million life insurance policy.
Fabio is the Vice President of beauty product company, Coty Inc. Three days prior to her arrest, she received on her deceased husband’s behalf a lifetime achievement award. Days before his death, Fabio posted a photograph of his 1987 hairstylist certification on Facebook in celebration of his 30 years of work in the field.
“[Thirty years] ago today I received my hairstylist certification and my professional career started with optimism, an immigrant family work ethic with no pedigree in hairdressing to speak of but I had a strong conviction with hopes and dreams,” he wrote.