Cameron Ely is the son of Tarzan actor, Ron Ely, and is suspected of stabbing his mother Valerie Lundeen Ely to death on Tuesday night at their Hope Ranch home in Santa Barbara County, California.
Cameron was shot dead by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies.
Officers arrived at the family’s Hope Ranch home after they received a report about a “family disturbance” at around 8:15 p.m. They found Lundeen, 62, dead with multiple stab wounds, but his 81-year-old father, Ron Ely, was unharmed.
Ron Ely is best known for playing Tarzan in the TV series that aired on NBC from 1966-1968.
When police arrived at the house they met Ron, and after talking to him, they identified the suspect as his 30-year-old son, Cameron, according to KTLA.
The sheriff’s deputies began searching for the suspect after issuing a warning to neighbors to stay indoors.
They found Cameron hiding on his parents’ property and shot him dead at 9:40 p.m., after determining that “he posed a threat.”
Cameron reportedly tried to blame the killing on his father Ron. In a 911 call he made to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office after the killing, Cameron reportedly said that Ron had tried to attack Valerie. According to the emergency dispatcher (listen to the audio below), the male caller “was out of breath, unintelligible and crying.”
Who is Cameron Ely?
Cameron Ely was the son of former Miss Florida Valerie Lundeen Ely and Ron Ely, who is best known for his role as Tarzan in the popular 1960s TV series.
Ron and Valerie married in 1984 and had three children together, Cameron, 30, and sisters Kirsten, 34, and Kaitland, 32.
The sisters were not in the house at the time of the incident.
Cameron’s godfather was the actor Fess Parker, best known for playing the titular role of Davy Crockett in the 1950s TV miniseries. Parker died in 2010.
Based on Ron’s testimony, Cameron grew up in a closely-knit family in which the parents were there for their children.
Ron revealed in a 2013 interview with Express that he married and raised children late in life. He decided to stop acting and work at home as an author “so that he could be with the kids all through school and be able to attend their sports games and things.”
Ron wrote two mystery novels, Night Shadows (1994) and East Beach (1995).
In a 2012 interview with Fanboy Planet at San Diego Comic-Con, Ron said he was dedicated to his wife and children. He said he decided to stop writing in order to focus on raising his children.
When Ron noticed during the interview that Cameron, who accompanied him to San Diego Comic-Con, had wandered away from him, he jokingly commented that his young adult son must have been drawn away by the sight of a “pretty girl.” He then added that he had always focused on his family and not “really cared about anything else.”
Cameron attended Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. The high school is considered to be one of the best boarding schools in the country.
He also attended Harvard University, where he played quarterback for their football team in 2007. He is listed on his Harvard profile as 6-feet-5-inches and 230 pounds.
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