Lee Bell.JPGSan Francisco prosecutors today charged a man with murder for the killing of 52-year-old Pearla Louis, the woman whose body was found inside a suitcase floating in the San Francisco Bay on May 18, the district attorney’s office said.

Police arrested Lee Bell, 47, of San Francisco, on Friday.

Announcing the arrest later that day, homicide inspectors would only say Bell and Louis had a relationship and that Bell had been accused of abusing her on prior occasions.

Louis, also of San Francisco, was reported missing by her family May 17.

Police have said she was likely killed within 48 hours prior to the time her body was discovered in the water near the Embarcadero and Folsom Street.

At the time of his arrest, Bell was already in custody after having been booked May 21 on for violating his probation for grand theft, police said.

Police have not released the cause of Louis’ death or a possible motive for her murder.

Bell is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning in San Francisco Superior Court, according to the district attorney’s office.

Photo of Lee Bell: SFPD

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