The son of Tarzan actor Ron Elys reportedly called 911 to say his 81-year-old disabled father had attacked his wife before she was found stabbed to death at their Santa Barbara home.
Former Miss Florida Valerie Lundeen, 62, was found dead at the couple’s exclusive Hope Ranch property on Tuesday, according to sources.
In audio obtained by The Blast, the original caller to the emergency services was a young male who said his ‘father tried to attack the mother’.
The operator adds that when the authorities called back the caller sounded ‘out of breath, unintelligible and crying’.
The man police suspect of murdering Valerie was later killed by a deputy at the scene. Actor Ely, 81, has been reported as safe by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s department.
Police are yet to confirm the connection between the suspect and his victim but in separate audio obtained by TMZ a first responder talks of an ‘elderly gentleman’ who said his son was involved in the incident in some way.
Valerie and Ron had been married for 35 years and have three children together, Kirsten, Kaitland and Cameron.
Lt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office told CNN Ely told police a relative was involved in the death.
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Ron, second left, and Valerie, second from right, pictured with their son Cameron, left, son-in-law Jason, third from left, and daughters Kaitland, third from right, and Kirsten in 2016
Santa Barbara police said that an elderly woman has been killed at the house of 1960s Tarzan actor Ron Ely on Tuesday. The victim was later confirmed by sources to be his wife Valerie. The couple are pictured left in a recent Facebook photo and right in 1977
A body bag is taken out of the home of Ron and Valerie Ely. The man suspected of murdering Valerie was shot and killed by a deputy at the scene at the exclusive Hope Ranch residential community along the Santa Barbara coast, where the couple lived
Ely, who is now 81, featured in a number of TV appearances during the 1960s but found his break playing the lead role in the 1966 NBC series Tarzan, pictured
Video courtesy of KEYT
Police said the suspect was armed and presented as a threat. Video from the scene captured the moment police fired shots.
Raney said: ‘We wanted to make sure all the residents were safe while we searched the area.
‘We had initially called in the air support unit and neighboring law enforcement agencies to come help in the search and when we were able to locate the suspect on the property of the homicide, and after the confrontation, we lifted the shelter in place. We don’t believe there is any further threat to the public.’
Police found the suspect hiding during a search of the premises.
Raney added: ‘We don’t know exactly how many shots were fired. We did have several deputies that were involved in the shooting. Fortunately all of our deputies are OK.’
Ely featured in a number of TV appearances during the 1960s but found his break playing the lead role in the 1966 NBC series Tarzan.
He also played the title role in 1975 movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.
As well as a career studded with occasional parts on TV, Ely hosted the Miss America pageant between 1979 and 1981.
He retired from acting in 2001 but did return for a part in a TV movie called Expecting Amish in 2014.
DailyMail.com has contacted representatives for the Ely family and Santa Barbara police for comment.
Officers at the scene Wednesday. Police said the suspect was armed and presented as a threat. Video from the scene captured the moment police fired shots
Actor Ron Ely and family attend Second Annual Toys for Tots Benefit on December 19, 1992 at Hancock Park in Los Angeles, California
Ely’s wife Valerie pictured with daughters Kirsten and Kaitland. Deputies responded to a family disturbance call to discover the body of an older woman at around 8.15 pm on Tuesday
Authorities are yet to confirm the connection between Ely, his wife Valerie and the dead suspect. It is not known if Ely was home at the time at the time of the shooting, but authorities reported a disabled elderly man at the property
The couple’s home in Hope Ranch. The suspect was found hiding during a search of the house
Musclebound Tarzan who did his own stunts and won the hearts of baby-boomers
Ron Ely, 81, played the title character on the NBC series Tarzan, which ran from 1966 to 1968.
The tall, musclebound actor was not quite as well-known as Johnny Weismuller, the Olympic swimmer who played Tarzan, the character created by novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs, in movies in the 1930s and 1940s.
But Ely formed the image of the shirtless, loincloth-wearing character remembered by many in the baby-boom generation.
Ely said in interviews that he did his own stunts on the show, working directly and precariously with the tigers, chimps and other wild animals that were Tarzan’s friends and servants.Ely retired from acting to focus on his family in 2001.
Ely retired from acting to focus on his family in 2001. He is pictured here in December 1987
Ely’s Tarzan didn’t speak in the monosyllabic grunts often associated with the character. He was instead an educated bachelor who had grown sick of civilization and had returned to African jungle where he was raised.
Ely also played the title character in the 1975 action film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, but otherwise had mostly small roles in TV and films including the 1958 movie musical South Pacific.
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.
Ely retired from acting to focus on his family in 2001. But he returned briefly in 2014 in the TV movie Expecting Amish.