Man accused of torturing, draining blood from girlfriend's body in West Hollywood murder

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA -- A suspect was charged Tuesday with torturing and killing his girlfriend in West Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Blake Leibel, 35, pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, mayhem, aggravated mayhem and torture. Officials said he may be eligible for the death penalty.

Blake Leibel is accused of murdering his 30-year-old girlfriend and mother of his child, Iana Kasian, on or between May 23 and May 26, at an apartment they shared in West Hollywood.

Officials said Kasian was tortured and mutilated before she was killed, and all of her blood was drained from her body.

Blake Leibel was arrested on Thursday after he had barricaded himself in the apartment in the 8500 block of Holloway Drive.

The incident began as a missing person case, when the woman's mother called out of concern that she hadn't heard from her daughter for a day or two, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The suspect had barricaded the door of the apartment with furniture, but deputies forced their way inside, searched and found Kasian dead in a bedroom. She had apparently suffered blunt force trauma to the head, according to sheriff's Lt. Dave Coleman.

ABC7 learned more about the background of the accused killer. The Toronto Star reported he is the son of wealthy real estate developer Lorne Leibel, who is credited with building more than 30,000 homes in the Toronto area.

The elder Leibel is also famous for his love of fast cars and often goes by the nickname, "Ferrari man."

Blake Leibel was seen in an interview from Comic Con in New York in 2008 talking about comic books that he authored. He gave one of those books to Michael Yurman, who lives next door to his multi-million dollar Hollywood home.

Other neighbors said Blake Leibel didn't live there long, though there was always activity at the house, which was now silent.

Kasian's brother and family in the Ukraine posted on Facebook asking for assistance to get her body back for burial. They also asked for help with legal fees for the victim's infant daughter, who is a U.S. citizen.

Blake Leibel faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. His next court date was scheduled for June 14.

The case remained under investigation.
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