Sex therapist Amie Harwick dies following fall from balcony, former boyfriend arrested

LOS ANGELES, California (WPVI) -- A well-known sex and family therapist originally from Lansdale, Pennsylvania died at her home in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles on Saturday. Police said they have arrested her former boyfriend on suspicion of her murder.

Dr. Amie Harwick was found on the ground beneath a third-story balcony with injuries consistent with a fall just after 1 a.m., according to a news release from the LAPD. Harwick was a 1999 graduate of North Penn High School.

Gareth Pursehouse, a 41-year-old resident of Playa Del Rey in Los Angeles, was arrested around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Detectives said Harwick had previously filed a restraining order against Pursehouse but it had expired.

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A well-known sex and family therapist was killed at her Hollywood Hills home on Saturday, and her former boyfriend has been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said.

Police said they were initially called to the Hollywood Hills residence to investigate reports of a woman screaming. Officers were met in the street by Harwick's roommate, who said she was being assaulted inside her home. The roommate reportedly jumped a wall and went to neighboring residences to call for help.

After police entered the property, Harwick was found unconscious and suffereing from grave injuries after she had apparently fallen from a third-floor balcony, police said.

Harwick was transported to a local hospital where she subsequently died from her injuries.

Police said an investigation revealed possible evidence of a struggle upstairs and forced entry to the residence.

According to officials, evidence of a suspect entering and leaving the property after the murder was also found; a surveillance video led police to the suspect.

Pursehouse was arrested outside of a residence in the 8100 block of Cabora Drive in Playa Del Rey by members of an FBI-LAPD Fugitive Task Force. He is being held on $2 million bail.

Detectives learned that victim had "recently expressed fear" about her former boyfriend. Police said Harwick had seen Pursehouse two weeks ago.

Harwick was once engaged to actor and comedian Drew Carey. She used social media to talk about her work as a therapist.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and the case will be presented to the District Attorney's Office for filing on Wednesday.
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