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Elderly blind victim’s head still missing in grisly L.A. killing

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Robert Hollis, a 75-year-old blind black man, was found decapitated inside his Inglewood apartment Thursday.

His head is still missing, ABC 7 reports.

The gruesome tragedy has everyone wondering why this would happen to Hollis, a great-grandfather and beloved gospel singer who was known as Mr. Bojangles. Inglewood police are declining media interviews and family members tell reporters they are not getting information on the investigation.

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No arrests have been made, nor is any motive known.

“I have never heard of any organization decapitating a senior citizen, a blind senior citizen,” Bishop L.J. Guillory told ABC on behalf of the Hollis family. “Mr. Robert Hollis did not have enemies. He was a blind senior citizen living his last days in peace.”

Family members told CBS News that nothing was stolen from Hollis’ apartment.

Neighbor Sahir Champion told ABC 7 “the fact that it wasn’t a robbery, because he always wore a lot of jewelry, makes me think that it was something personal.”

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Hollis’ cousin, Alyssia Powell told CBS that he was wearing his jewelry when he was found by his son on Thursday.

Aside from singing in two church choirs, Hollis was also an accomplished painter, despite his blindness. In a statement reported by ABC, the Hollis family said he was a “kind and generous spirit” who worked as a sign painter. His ex-wife told CBS he was 80 percent blind, learning braille and in the process of getting a seeing-eye dog.

At a Monday night candlelight vigil honoring Hollis, friends, family, community members and city officials crowded in the Inglewood’s Faithful Central Bible Church, where a recording of Hollis singing gospel music was played.

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“The man wouldn’t hurt a fly, and so there’s no path to logic,” Bishop Kenneth Ulmer told ABC.

Champion told reporters he remembers Hollis as a smiling, well-dressed man who he’d regularly see waiting for a lift to church on Sundays.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts told the crowd he planned to ask the City Council to authorize a $50,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of Hollis’ killer.

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Inglewood is a city of about 111,500 just south of Los Angeles that has a large African American population, according to US Census data.

Watch video of Hollis’ vigil via ABC7 here:


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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