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Suspected killer of homeless men told his homeless dad: Be careful

January 16, 2012 |  7:36 am

Refugio Ocampo

A man suspected of slaying four homeless men in Orange County discussed the killings with his father several weeks ago, urging him to be careful.

In an interview with The Times on Sunday, Itzcoatl Ocampo’s father said when he last saw his son, the younger man showed him a flier seeking information on the deaths of one of the homeless men and warned, “Look at this, I’m worried something might happen to you.”

Recounting the meeting in both Spanish and English, Refugio Ocampo, 49, said his son appeared concerned. “He was very afraid for me because I am homeless,” said Ocampo, who said he sleeps in the cab of a truck in a parking lot in Fullerton.

PHOTOS: Serial killer targets O.C. homeless

“I told him, ‘You don’t need to worry about me, mijo. I am a survivor,’ ” Ocampo said.

Ocampo, the suspect in the slayings of four homeless men in Orange County, is a former Marine who was increasingly troubled after returning from Iraq in 2010, friends and family said.

"When he came back from Iraq, he was sick," said his uncle, Ifrain Gonzalez.

For the last year, he had been telling relatives that he was seeing and hearing things, Gonzalez said.

The last time Gonzalez saw his nephew was at a Christmas Eve party. Ocampo, he said, had told a cousin, "I did something terrible, but don't worry."

The killings had begun four days earlier.

Ocampo was arrested Friday evening after bystanders chased him down about a quarter-mile from the shopping center where police found the body of John Berry, 64, near a trash bin behind a Carl's Jr. restaurant.

"We are extremely confident that we have the man who is responsible for the murders of all four homeless men in Orange County," Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said at a news conference Saturday. Police said they would seek four counts of murder this week.


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O.C. serial killer sought in deaths of homeless men

Vulnerable homeless men try to foil Orange County killer

-- Louis Sahagun in Yorba Linda

Photo: Refugio Ocampo, 49, father of Itzcoatl Ocampo, the man suspected of killing homeless men in Orange County, talks about his son Sunday. Refugio is himself homeless and said that his son came back a changed man after serving with the Marines in Iraq. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press