Harwick, 38, was found fatally injured below a third-storey balcony of her home shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Police said her injuries were consistent with a fall, according to a statement obtained by KTLA. She was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Authorities say they were responding to a report of a woman screaming, and officers were informed by Harwick’s roommate outside the house that she was being assaulted. They ultimately found her below the balcony but did not see any suspect.
“The investigation revealed possible evidence of a struggle in the upstairs as well as forced entry to the residence,” the LAPD said in a written statement. “A canvass of the area located further evidence of an intruder (suspect) entering the property and leaving after the murder.”
Gareth Pursehouse, 41, was arrested on Saturday afternoon in a joint LAPD-FBI effort.
Pursehouse was Harwick’s ex-boyfriend and she had “recently expressed fear” about him, the LAPD said. Police say she previously obtained a restraining order against him but it had expired at the time of her death. Harwick is known to have seen Pursehouse approximately two weeks ago, authorities said.
Pursehouse was being held in an L.A. County jail as of Tuesday morning, jail records show. His bail has been set at US$2 million. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
The LAPD says it will present the case to the district attorney’s office for consideration on Wednesday.
Amie Harwick was a former Playboy model who became a licensed marriage and family therapist with a specific focus on sex, according to her website. She also published several articles and books on the subject, and made many appearances on radio, TV and podcasts. She was also an advocate for sex workers and mental health services in the adult film industry.
Harwick and Drew Carey announced their engagement in 2018, but broke it off less than a year later.
“Amie and I had a love that people are lucky to have once in a lifetime,” Carey told People magazine in a statement on Monday. “She was a positive force in the world, a tireless and unapologetic champion for women, and passionate about her work as a therapist.”
Carey also published a brief tribute clip to Harwick on Twitter.
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