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Arrests Made for the Murder of Violet Evelyn Alberts

Santa Barbara, Calif. – At a press conference earlier today, Sheriff Brown shared updated information in the Violet Evelyn Alberts homicide investigation. Over the past 22 months, detectives have pieced together crucial details surrounding the sequence of events that ultimately culminated in Violet’s murder and have made several arrests as a result of this investigation.

Detectives have arrested 48-year-old Pauline Macareno of Porter Ranch, 58-year-old Harry Basmadjian of Van Nuys, 33-year-old Henry Rostomyan of Tujunga, and 41-year-old Ricardo MartinDelCampo of Los Angeles. Through their investigation, detectives traced Macareno to a series of transactions, including forging documents and establishing fraudulent entities, to gain control over Alberts’s assets unlawfully.

Detectives also uncovered evidence that Alberts had been targeted in a murder for hire scheme including evidence of a scouting trip conducted by MartinDelCampo and Rostomyan, on the evening of May 24, 2022. Sheriff Brown said “This pivotal discovery shed light on the premeditated nature of the crime, underscoring the perpetrators’ calculated efforts to survey Alberts’s home and plan their vicious and reprehensible actions. “

Pauline Macareno was recently sentenced to six years in state prison for fraud related to Violet Alberts’s case. Basmadjian was arrested on January 2, 2024. Henry Rostomyan was arrested on February 27, 2024. Ricardo MartinDelCampo was arrested on March 5, 2024. Henry Rostomyan and Ricardo MartinDelCampo are currently being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail without bail on charges of murder and conspiracy to murder Violet Alberts. Harry Basmadjian was arrested for similar charges while being held in federal custody on an unrelated charge. He subsequently suffered a life-threatening medical emergency that left him totally incapacitated with a grim prognosis.

Sheriff Brown said “There a lot of people and allied agencies to thank today for the extraordinary police work that went into solving this case. The unwavering support and cooperation of allied agencies, including the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Marshals Service, were instrumental in this investigation’s success. But the acknowledgment and gratitude needs to be primarily focused on the diligent efforts of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office detectives, whose collective dedication, determination and tenacity served to pursue truth and accountability for those responsible for Violet Albert’s murder.”

Brown specifically recognized Sgt. Daniel Kholi, who was the initial lead detective. He was replaced by detective Ruben Esparza as lead detective.  Detective Matt Maxwell worked as the co-lead with Detective Esparza. Additional detectives included Adam Alegria, Joaquin Oliver, and Cliff Cabasag. The supervising sergeant and ringmaster was Sergeant Jeff McDonald along with their management and command staff.

To date, Sheriff’s detectives have invested 10,424 hours in unraveling the complex web surrounding Violet Alberts’s tragic murder, but this investigation remains ongoing. Sheriff’s detectives ask anyone with information about this death or the suspects associated to contact detectives at (805) 681-4150. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide information by calling our tip line at (805) 681-4171 or

A complete recording of the press conference and information shared by Sheriff Brown is available on the Sheriff’s Office YouTube Channel.

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