Monday, January 20, 2003

VENTURA, Calif., Jan. 20 (UPI) — An abandoned sport utility vehicle belonging to missing cosmetics heir Andrew Luster will be gone over by Ventura County, Calif., investigators who have been trying to track him down since he apparently jumped bail during his rape trial.

The Toyota 4-Runner was found Sunday in a residential area of Santa Monica where it appeared to have been parked since about the time Luster disappeared this month during a break in his trial on 87 counts stemming from his alleged use of the “date rape” drug GHB on three women.

The case, which could result in a life sentence for Luster, went to the jury last week. Jurors will resume their deliberations Tuesday.

Ventura County sheriff’s officials had no comment Monday on the discovery of the vehicle in neighboring Los Angeles County, however they planned to take possession of it and scour it for any clues as to Luster’s whereabouts and who, if anyone, may have assisted him in fleeing.

Luster, the 39-year-old heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, was last seen Jan. 3. Authorities said he took warm clothing, his pet dog and some Native American artifacts with him. The dog was located last week at his mother’s home in Sonoma County.

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