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Russian Hill Woman’s Alleged Killer Posed As Utility Worker

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Sketch of San Francisco murder suspect dressed as a utility worker. (San Francisco Police Dept.)

Sketch of San Francisco murder suspect dressed as a utility worker. (San Francisco Police Dept.)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/BCN) — A San Francisco man was arrested Friday on suspicion of murdering a Russian Hill woman last week after he allegedly posed as a utility worker to gain access to her building, a police spokeswoman said.

Gary Scott Holland, 43, is accused of robbing and killing 46-year-old publicist Kathleen Horan, police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Officers found Holland in the Richmond District Friday after police this morning released a sketch of a suspect in the case, Tomioka said.

He was detained for questioning after police learned he was on parole for attempted murder in Fresno and a person of interest to San Francisco police, she said. He was arrested Friday afternoon.

Horan was found dead inside her second-floor home at 900 Chestnut St. around 4:25 a.m. Saturday when police responded to a request for a well-being check by someone who knew her, police said.

A cause of death had not been determined as of Friday.

“It’s not going to bring complete closure, as far as the family is concerned, but it’s sure going to help,” John Horan, Horan’s uncle, said by phone Friday before the arrest was made.

The suspect had posed as a utility worker and knocked on several doors saying he was checking for a gas leak, police Capt. David Lazar said.

“And unfortunately it sounds like my niece opened the door,” Horan said.

The suspect was seen in the area around 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, about 45 minutes before police believe Horan was killed. Items belonging to her were found outside the apartment.

“We are exploring all the possible motives,” Lazar said.

Horan had just returned to the city Friday from a trip to Argentina with her mother, according to her uncle.

“They just returned from the trip, and her mother said goodbye to her, not knowing that it was a final goodbye,” Horan said.

His niece loved to travel and was active in charity work and neighborhood activities, he said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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