Business manager to Kardashians found dead; boyfriend charged with murder, torture

·2 min read
Simi Valley map of where body was found
(Los Angeles Times)

The boyfriend of a celebrity business manager found dead in her car last week has been charged in connection with the woman's torture death, authorities said Wednesday.

Angela Kukawski, 55, whose star-studded client roster included members of the Kardashian family, was reported missing Dec. 22 from the Sherman Oaks neighborhood where she lived, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The following day, police from Los Angeles and Simi Valley found Kukawski dead in her car, which was parked on Patricia Avenue in Simi Valley, the LAPD said in a news release.

Kukawski's boyfriend, 49-year-old Jason Barker, was arrested later that day on suspicion of murder and booked into Van Nuys Jail, where he's being held in lieu of more than $3-million bail, according to inmate records.

Detectives think Barker killed Kukawski inside their residence, put her in her car and drove to Simi Valley, where the vehicle was left.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has charged Barker with one count of premeditated murder and one count of torture, both felonies, according to a criminal complaint provided to The Times.

Kukawski died from sharp and blunt force injuries of the head and neck, as well as strangulation, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office.

It's alleged a knife and firearm were used during the attack, which the complaint says was undertaken with "intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose, [to] inflict great bodily injury," as defined in the penal code for torture.

Prosecutors in the complaint say the crime took place between Dec. 21 and 22.

Variety reported that Kukawski worked at Boulevard Management in Woodland Hills, where she had A-list clients, including Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and Offset. She also worked at some point with the Kardashians and the estate of Tupac Shakur, the publication reported, citing government filings and past associates.

On Wednesday, Boulevard said through an employee that the company was not ready to release a statement.

Kukawski, Variety reported, was a mother to five children and also known as Angela Castro.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.