Three Arrests Made in Murder-For-Hire Plot

  • 11/20/2013
  • Reporters Desk

Long Beach — On Nov. 18, Long Beach Police Department officers announced the arrest of three suspects in a premeditated murder plot, which almost killed a 62-year-old woman.

At about 9:20 p.m. Oct. 11, LBPD responded to a report of a screaming person near 69th Place and Ocean Boulevard. When officers arrived, they found the woman severely beaten in her home. She was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The initial prognosis was that she may not survive.

Initially, it appeared the incident may have been a home invasion robbery. However, detectives discovered evidence that the incident was murder-for-hire plot that targeted the woman and that the plotters were her family members. Through the course of the investigation, detectives learned that the victim’s daughter, 40-year-old Holly Ramos, had been arrested in Monterey County, California on child endangerment and narcotics related charges.  As a result, Ramos’ two children, ages 2 and 4, were taken from her and her husband, 40-year-old Frank Haverly, also from Monterey County, and placed into foster care.

At that time, the victim began the process with the Department of Children and Family Services to become a foster parent to her grandchildren.

It is believed that both Holly and Frank planned out the crime, and enlisted the services of 50-year-old Keith Phillips, also from MontereyCounty, to travel to Long Beach to carry out the plot of killing the victim.  Phillips drove to Long Beach on Oct. 11, and contacted the victim at her home while impersonating a DCFS employee from MontereyCounty. The victim, believing him to be a legitimate DCFS employee, allowed him access into her home and spent a considerable amount of time with him discussing the foster care placement process.  While in the home, the suspect violently and viciously attacked the victim with a blunt metal object shaped like a bat, and also attempted to suffocate her, causing her life-threatening injuries.  The suspect made it clear to the victim that he was there to kill her and she would not live through the attack.  What the suspect did not anticipate was the victim’s will to survive.  Eventually, the suspect gave up his attack, left the home, and ultimately returned to the MontereyCounty area.

The victim immediately suspected her family as being involved in the attack and provided detectives with information that was crucial to the investigation. To ensure the individuals suspected of being involved did not learn they were under investigation, no information regarding the incident was released to the public.

Detectives submitted material that was collected for DNA analysis, which resulted in the identification of Keith Philips.  Detectives used a variety of investigative resources and techniques to obtain the necessary evidence in this case.  In recent weeks, detectives took several trips to Northern California and worked closely with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department and the Veteran’s Administration Police in Menlo Park, where surveillance was conducted and additional evidence was gathered. As the investigation progressed, detectives obtained corroborating evidence that Ramos and Haverly were associates of Phillips, had been in contact with him prior to the crime and together mapped out the plan.

Part of the very comprehensive investigation detectives put together included writing 18 search warrants, and working with other government agencies to obtain current information on the suspects.  Because the suspects were living in a recreational vehicle park in Northern California, detectives rented a motor home and conducted surveillance on the suspects in order to affect the arrest.

On November 14, all three suspects were taken into custody without incident and booked for the attempted murder of our victim.  Holly and Frank were arrested at an RV park in MontereyCounty.  Frank was also on probation for a narcotics related charge.  Keith Phillips was arrested at a Veteran Affairs hospital in Menlo Park.  The suspects were held at the Long Beach City Jail on $25 million bail each pending their arraignment.

This morning, detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, along with evidence illustrating how all three suspects conspired to commit this crime.  Their arraignment was scheduled for Nov. 18 at Long Beach Superior Court. They were then transferred to the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A possible motive for the attack is that it may have occurred to prevent the victim from seeking custody of the children, but it remains under investigation”

The victim’s resilience clearly enabled her to fight back and survive this brutal attack.  She remained hospitalized for several weeks recovering from extensive injuries. Although she has been discharged from the hospital, she has undergone two surgeries, has additional surgeries scheduled, and is still in a facility receiving full-time care due to her injuries.  This has been a tragic ordeal for the victim, and she does not wish to speak to the media at this time.  The children remain in foster care at an undisclosed location.

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