Crime

‘Tarzan’ actor’s wife stabbed to death in home by his son, Santa Barbara sheriff says

Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed the son of “Tarzan” actor Ron Ely on Tuesday night after Ely’s wife was found stabbed to death in the couple’s home, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said.

At 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, deputies responded to a 911 call at Ron Ely’s home in the 4100 block of Mariposa Drive in Hope Ranch, an unincorporated suburb of Santa Barbara, the Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday afternoon.

There, they found Ely’s wife, 62-year-old Valerie Lundeen Ely, “deceased with multiple stab wounds,” according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

“While on scene, deputies identified the suspect as the Elys’ son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Raquel Zick said in a statement.

Deputies scoured the area around the residence and the surrounding neighborhood, Lt. Erik Raney told Noozhawk. At about 9:40 p.m., they located Cameron Ely outside on the Mariposa Drive property, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Cameron Ely “posed a threat and in response four deputies fired their service weapons at the suspect, fatally wounding him,” the Sheriff’s Office said. No deputies were injured, and the names of the deputies involved in the shooting were not released on Wednesday.

Autopsies for both Valerie and Cameron Ely are pending, the Sheriff’s Office said, and the agency is “conducting criminal, coroner’s and administrative investigations.”

Ron Ely, 81, is best known for portraying Tarzan in the 1966 NBC TV series of the same name. He and his wife had three adult children.

Noozhawk.com contributed to this story.

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Gabby Ferreira is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. A native of Houston, Texas, she was a reporter in Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Palm Springs, California, before moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2016.
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