• 'Tarzan' actor Ron Ely's wife stabbed to death by son, police say

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

    Valerie Lundeen Ely, the wife of "Tarzan" actor Ron Ely, was stabbed to death Tuesday by their 30-year-old son, who was then shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies.

    The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a homicide in Hope Ranch, California, a few miles west of Santa Barbara. Deputies found Valerie Ely, 62, dead with multiple stab wounds.

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    The deputies talked to Ron Ely and identified his son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely, as the suspect.  Law enforcement asked those living in nearby homes to shelter in place while they searched the property for the suspect.

    "We wanted to make sure all the residents were safe while we searched the area," Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Lt. Erik Raney told KEYT.

    According to the Associated Press, Cameron Ely posed a threat to deputies, four of whom opened fire and killed him, the statement said. It did not say what he had done that was threatening.

    Ron Ely, 81, played the title character on the NBC series “Tarzan,” which ran from 1966 to 1968. He was host of the Miss America pageant in 1980 and 1981 and later married Valerie Ely, a former Miss Florida. The couple had three children.

    There was no report of Ron Ely being injured. Authorities confirmed he was at the home during the stabbing and the shooting, and an earlier sheriff’s statement said an elderly man in the home was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

    The home where the killings took place is one of two addresses listed in public records for Cameron Ely. It is not clear whether he had been living with his parents.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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