russianhillmurder.jpgA San Francisco man was arrested today on suspicion of murdering a Russian Hill woman last week after he allegedly posed as a utility worker to gain access to her building, a police spokeswoman said.

Gary Scott Holland, 43, is accused of robbing and killing 46-year-old publicist Kathleen Horan, police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said.

Officers found Holland in the Richmond District today after police this morning released a sketch of a suspect in the case, Tomioka said.

He was detained for questioning after police learned he was on parole for attempted murder in Fresno and a person of interest to San Francisco police, she said. He was arrested this afternoon.

Horan was found dead inside her second-floor home at 900 Chestnut St. at about 4:25 a.m. Saturday when police responded to a request for a well-being check by someone who knew her, police said.

A cause of death had not been determined today.

“It’s not going to bring complete closure, as far as the family is concerned, but it’s sure going to help,” John Horan, Horan’s uncle, said by phone today before the arrest was made.

The suspect had posed as a utility worker and knocked on several doors saying he was checking for a gas leak, police Capt. David Lazar said.

“And unfortunately it sounds like my niece opened the door,” Horan said.

The suspect was seen in the area at about 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, about 45 minutes before police believe Horan was killed. Items belonging to her were found outside the apartment.

“We are exploring all the possible motives,” Lazar said.

Horan had just returned to the city Friday from a trip to Argentina with her mother, according to her uncle.

“They just returned from the trip, and her mother said goodbye to her, not knowing that it was a final goodbye,” Horan said.

His niece loved to travel and was active in charity work and neighborhood activities, he said.

Janna Brancolini/Ari Burack, Bay City News

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!