Jury convicts Encinitas man in girlfriend’s 2019 death

Sabrina Lukosky in butterfly vivarium
In 2015, Sabrina Lukosky talked to the Union-Tribune about a butterfly vivarium at her roadside shop in Bonsall. In October 2019, Lukosky was found dead in the Encinitas residence she shared with boyfriend Henry Cowen.
(Peggy Peattie)

Prosecutors said Henry Simon Cowen killed Sabrina Lukosky in their shared home, then fled. Her body was not discovered for several days


It took a North County jury less than three hours Friday afternoon, Oct. 15, to find an Encinitas man guilty of murdering his girlfriend, whose body lay in their shared home for more than two weeks before she was found.

Henry Simon Cowen, 43, faces a potential sentence of 55 years to life in prison for first-degree murder in the 2019 death of Sabrina Lukosky, 43.

No sentencing date has been set yet for Cowen, whose last name has also been listed in court documents as Cowan. He was known to friends as “Israel.” He is due back in Vista Superior Court on Monday, Oct. 18, for a short bench trial regarding a prior criminal conviction.

Deputy District Attorney Marnie Layon has previously said Cowen has a history of violence, including a 1998 assault conviction that counts as a strike on his record.

At Cowen’s preliminary hearing in January 2020, witnesses testified that neighbors near the couple’s home — a granny flat behind Cowen’s mother’s house — had previously heard screaming and doors slamming at the residence.

One witness said he’d seen Lukosky with bruises under her eyes and said she appeared to be “very scared.”

Lukosky’s mother last heard from her daughter in a phone call on Sept. 20, 2019, according to authorities. On Oct. 3 of that year, the mother asked sheriff’s deputies to check on her.

Deputies saw Lukosky’s car parked in front of the main home in front of the granny flat. The deputies said they smelled decomposing flesh.

Five days later, deputies came back with a search warrant. They found Lukosky’s body on a bed. She had been dead for more than two weeks.

The autopsy revealed that she had been strangled. She alsohad several broken ribs, a punctured lung and a gash on her forehead, according to testimony at the preliminary hearing.

On Oct. 11, 2019, the Fugitive Task Force tracked Cowen to Riverside County and arrested him.

Lukosky had been a long-time merchant of local produce, flowers and honey. In 2015, she teamed up with a butterfly advocate to open a butterfly flight house at her roadside shop in Bonsall.