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Beloved California Kindergarten Teacher Killed in Altercation with Son: Police

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May 12 2024, Published 10:04 a.m. ET

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A California man has been arrested in connection with the murder of his mother, a beloved kindergarten teacher, authorities said.

Officers and paramedics recently responded to a home in Burbank, where they found 57-year-old Karyn Lombardo unconscious, according to the Burbank Police Department.

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Emergency responders attempted lifesaving measures, but Lombardo was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the victim lived in the home with one of her adult children, identified as 25-year-old Kyle Lombardo, as well as her husband.

Investigators identified Kyle Lombardo as the primary suspect in his mother’s death and placed him under arrest.

Investigators said they determined Kyle Lombardo allegedly killed his mother “during an altercation in the family home,” but no further details about the deadly incident were released.

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He faces a murder charge, and his bail was set at $2 million, according to law enforcement officials.

The victim’s husband of 31 years, Vince Lombardo, told KABC that his son was diagnosed as a child with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism that leads to difficulty with social interaction, as well as attention-deficit disorder, or ADD.

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"He's mentally challenged," Vince Lombardo said, adding, "He didn't want to kill her.”

According to Vince Lombardo, his son takes medications, but it was ineffective, and police were called to the home several times over the years.

"He was volatile," the father said. "He had a kind heart, big heart. But when he got to that point he was pretty volatile and he didn't know how to control his emotions."

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Karyn Lombardo worked as a kindergarten teacher at Bret Harte Elementary School for over 30 years. She and her husband shared two children.

In a statement, superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District John Paramo noted Karyn Lombardo "touched the lives of thousands of students, parents and colleagues, who will be mourning this loss in the days to come."

"Her dedication, warmth and passion for teaching touched many students and colleagues’ lives," he continued, adding, "Her profound impact and loss on this community will be deeply felt throughout the City of Burbank."

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