Authorities arrested an Encinitas man on suspicion of murder Friday, Oct. 11, in the slaying of his girlfriend, whose mother reported her missing last week, about six days before deputies found her decomposing body in Encinitas.
Henry Simon Cowen is suspected of killing 43-year-old Sabrina Lukosky, according to a statement from a sheriff’s homicide lieutenant.
“The facts revealed during the investigation pointed to ... (Cowen) as the suspect,” Lt. Michael Blevins said.
Deputies discovered Lukosky’s body around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, in small living quarters behind a home on Summit Avenue near Santa Fe Drive after a neighbor complained of a “foul odor,” Blevins said earlier this week.
An autopsy revealed Lukosky died by homicide.
Lukosky’s mother had reported her missing to the Sheriff’s Department on Oct. 3.
Blevins did not say what evidence led detectives to suspect Cowen in the slaying. But homicide investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Cowen on Friday, Oct. 11, and law enforcement officers with a fugitive task force led by the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him without incident in Riverside.
Cowen was booked into the Vista Detention Center about 7:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, on suspicion of murder, jail records showed. He was being held without bail.
In 2010, Cowen was arrested on assault and kidnapping charges in Lacey, Washington, about an hour southwest of Seattle, on accusations that he tied up and tortured a man over an argument about marijuana.
According to court documents obtained by the Union-Tribune at the time, the victim called 911 and reported that he’d been tied up and beaten for several hours in a home invasion before he was able to escape. Officers reported finding the victim at a neighbor’s house with several bleeding cuts as well as abrasions and swelling to his face and neck.
When police knocked on the victim’s home, Cowen allegedly answered the door. He told police the victim was planning to rob him of marijuana he’d brought up from California.
Cowen allegedly told police he “lost control” and forced the victim into a kitchen chair, using phone cords and hoses to tie him up, and then began “beating and cutting him with a knife,” according to the documents.
Online court records showed Cowen pleaded guilty to two charges, and prosecutors dismissed a third. It was unclear what charges he admitted to, and at least one guilty plea may have been an Alford plea, wherein a defendant pleads guilty while maintaining their innocence.
A judge sentenced Cowen to 12 months in jail on one charge and eight months on another charge, according to the online court records.
— Alex Riggins is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune