Trial ends for man accused of murder, stuffing body into suitcase

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The trial for 55-year-old Lee Bell, accused of killing Pearla Louis, a female friend, then stuffing her body in a suitcase and dumping it into the Bay begins. (KGO-TV )

The trial for a man accused of killing a female friend, then stuffing her body in a suitcase and dumping it into the Bay is coming to a close.

"I'm always here to show my support for her and who she was," said Ayesha Louis, the daughter of Pearla Louis who was murdered 7 years ago. Louis now wears a wristband that reads "In loving memory of Pearla."

Pearla Louis' body eventually washing ashore off the Embarcadero, near the Bay Bridge.

Her friend, 55-year-old Lee Bell is finally standing trial seven years later.

"It's been a very long time so it' just been very draining," said Louis.

The suitcase carrying Louis's body was discovered May 18th 2010, a day after her family reported her missing.

A young Ayesha and her siblings spread out along the Embarcadero handing out flyers, hoping for any clues that might lead to the killer.

Bell was arrested weeks later.

The prosecutor says Bell has a long history of domestic violence and that his relationship with Louis was also abusive. Bell's attorney says while that may be true, it doesn't mean he murdered her.

Beverly Upton heads the San Francisco domestic violence consortium. She says there are lessons to be learned.

"What could we do differently? Is there a way to prevent this? All domestic violence deaths are preventable," said Upton.

Ayesha Louis has also become an advocate for domestic violence victims.

"I often tell people if you think it could happen to you, it can," said Louis.

She hopes that at the end of the trial, there will be some closure and peace of mind.
Related Topics:
murderdomestic violencewoman killedbody founddead bodybay bridgeSFPDtrialSan Francisco
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