It was the week before Christmas that we learned that Theobald “Theo” Brooks Lengyel, a Bay Area musician and former member of the experimental rock group Mr. Bungle, was being sought for questioning in connection with the disappearance of his girlfriend. Now, remains that may be hers have been found in Berkeley, and Lengyel has been taken into custody.
Alice "Alyx" Kamakaokalani Herrmann, 61, a resident of Capitola in Santa Cruz County, had last been seen alive in Santa Cruz on December 3, and her car was later located parked outside Lengyel’s home in El Cerrito. Lengyel, 54, was not being cooperative with police, and had reportedly traveled to Portland as the missing-persons investigation was getting underway — and as of mid-December, it sounded like Lengyel's whereabouts were not known.
But the Capitola Police Department announced in a media release Tuesday that, following the discovery of Herrmann's remains in Berkeley's Tilden Park, Lengyel was located and arrested without incident Tuesday morning in Santa Cruz County. He was arrested by Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies and a Capitola Police detective, and booked into Santa Cruz County Jail.
It is unclear where the crime may have taken place, and no motive has been discussed. Also, the remains have not yet been positively identified as Herrmann's.
The Capitola Police Department has taken over as lead agency in the case, suggesting there was evidence that a crime took place there. The CPD said it conducted interviews and gathered evidence, and it became clear to them that "foul play was involved," and Lengyel became a suspect on December 19.
"The diligent work of our investigators, in coordination with our law enforcement partners, has led to the apprehension of Theobald Lengyel in connection with the tragic homicide of Alice [Herrmann]," the CPD release says. "We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim during this difficult time."
Lengyel is known for having played saxophone in the band Mr. Bungle for 11 years, but he left the band, which was co-founded by Faith No More frontman Mike Patton, in 1996, and the band mostly dissolved in 2000. Several core members reunited for several shows in 2019/2020.
According to his LinkedIn, Lengyel has served as Vice President Data Engineer at Instinet since 2011, and has worked as a programmer of some kind for the last two decades.