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Man mourns murder of mom

Crime: Family of slain woman asks for help in finding killer during news conference; community holds

Posted: June 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca consoles Robert Klein, son of Dusan and Renata Klein, as Detective Q. Rodriguez of the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau, left, looks on following a news conference at sheriff’s headquarters in Monterey Park on Thursday.

By Jim Holt and Laura Dixon
Signal Staff Writers

Still reeling from the news his mother was murdered and his father is missing, Robert Klein was stunned anew when police knocked on the front door of his parents’ house and served an eviction notice, he said Thursday.

Klein, 32, grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley but was living in New York when he was told about his parents, Dusan and Renata Klein, both 59, of Canyon Country.

The couple was first reported missing nearly two weeks ago; then Renata Klein’s body was found in a remote area of the Angeles National Forest last week.

The Kleins were due to be evicted from their home June 13 and were last seen there June 11.

“My mom didn’t deserve to go out like this — she’s a beautiful, caring woman,’” Robert Klein said at the press conference called Thursday by Sheriff Lee Baca.

“This is all just a huge shock to me,” Robert Klein said. “My mother loved that house; she worked so hard on it.”
Robert Klein joined Baca in asking the public’s help finding Dusan Klein, who was reportedly with his wife and the family dog when they left home.

Investigators said again Thursday that Dusan Klein is not a suspect in his wife’s killing.

In recent months, the couple mentioned in emails to a real estate broker that they were considering leaving the country, Homicide Bureau Detective Robert Martindale said following the news conference at sheriff’s headquarters in Monterey Park.

But so far, that information hasn’t yielded any fresh clues as to the whereabouts of Dusan Klein or the couple’s 10-year-old cocker spaniel, which the pair were said to have with them when they drove off in their 1999 gold Jeep Cherokee, according to detectives.

“We’re at a loss of where to look for him,” Martindale said. “Our primary concern right now is his well-being.”

Saying goodbye
Thursday was also the day of Renata Klein’s funeral at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall.

The metaphor of beautiful wild flowers flourishing in nature was inescapable during the service for “Rennie” Klein, a locally renowned flower-arranger.

It was in the poster of her with her dog Cindy together in a field of purple flowers.

It was in the “Victorian Garden” poem printed in the memorial service pamphlets, and in the words of admiration delivered by those who loved her.

Inside the small, quiet mortuary chapel on a hilltop, an abundant bouquet of yellow roses and white tulips cascaded atop her casket, with all her favorites — orchids, peonies and anthurium the size of lily pads.

“We’re glad she left her hand print on our hearts,” said friend and fellow flower arranger Laurie Pridmore.

About 50 people filed by Renata Klein’s closed casket following a short service that reflected on the life of someone whom all described as caring, considerate and loving.

Renata Klein earned a reputation for herself in the Santa Clarita Valley as one of the most respected and talented flower arrangers, friends said. She worked at both Antique Flower Garden and for Celebrate.

Pridmore, who worked with Renata Klein for 11 years, celebrated her skills.

“She insisted that roses were cut on an angle so that the roses could open and become beautiful,” Pridmore said.

“We call it ‘Rennie’s cut.’”

Carly Edwards told the gathering: “If flowers grow in heaven, Lord, then pick a bunch from me. Place them in my friend Rennie’s arms and tell her they’re from me.

“Tell her that I love and miss her.”

Renata Klein was born in 1952, in Brno of what is now the Czech Republic.

For 28 years she lived in the Santa Clarita Valley, reserving every Monday, according to one friend, as the day she phoned her mother, Dana Makesova, still living in Europe.


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