Police expect murder charges in O.C. serial killer case next week
Anaheim's police chief said Saturday that he is "extremely confident" a suspect arrested Friday is responsible for the deaths of four homeless men and that authorities plan to present the homicide cases to Orange County prosecutors next week.
Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, of Yorba Linda was booked at the Anaheim jail early Saturday morning. He will be transferred to the Orange County Jail early next week.
Authorities did not specify a motive for the killings or provide any details about the suspect or the victim killed Friday evening. But they did thank members of the public -- in particular, people who pursued the suspect on foot immediately after the fourth victim was stabbed outside a Carl's Jr. in Anaheim on Friday night.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said he hopes Orange County prosecutors will file four counts of murder in the coming days.
Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn said he could not comment directly on any evidence in any of the four cases. "We have to protect the integrity of the case," he said.
Police had been looking for one man believed to be a serial killer. They conducted roadblocks in Placentia and in Yorba Linda.
Detectives released grainy footage from a security camera showing a man dressed in black and "lying in wait" at the time of the first attack, which occurred Dec. 20.
That image became the primary lead in the investigation. Detectives were also searching for a white, four-door late-model Toyota Corolla.
The first attack claimed the life of James Patrick McGillivray, 53. On Dec. 28, Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found dead near a riverbed trail in Anaheim. Two days later, Paulus Smit, 57, was killed outside the Yorba Linda city library.
Police have been urging homeless people to seek shelter and have gone into homeless encampments throughout Orange County warning those living there that a killer was on the loose.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Anaheim
Photo: Itzcoatl Ocampo. Credit: Anaheim Police Department via KTLA News