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Suspect in Anaheim homeless stabbing probed in other killings

January 14, 2012 |  8:29 am

Homeless_murder_memorial

Police identified the man believed to be the suspect in Friday night's Anaheim killing as Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, of Yorba Linda.

Sgt. Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department would not say if the stabbing is related to the three previous murders of homeless men since Dec. 20. The task force investigating those slayings is looking for possible links.

"We have not firmly made that connection yet," he said Saturday morning.

Asked if the man detained Friday looks like the man shown in a surveillance video around the time and place of the first killing, on Dec. 20 in Placentia, Deputy Anaheim Police Chief Craig Hunter said Friday night: “Yes, in a general sense, he does.”

Ocampo is being held at the Anaheim jail without bail after a homeless man, identified only as "John" by people who live in the area, was stabbed behind a busy fast-food restaurant late Friday.

It was the fourth stabbing of a homeless male in the last month in Orange County, and Ocampo was quickly taken into custody after being pursued on foot about a quarter-mile from the scene of the latest crime.

Police have been looking for one man believed to be a serial killer and have 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 on 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 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 is on the loose.

RELATED:

Police probe string of O.C. deaths

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

Vulnerable homeless men try to foil Orange County killer

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Chris Juarez, 18, left, and Savanna Madrid, 6, huddle at the make-shift memorial for the Friday night's homeless fatal stabbing victim, known to them as ``John.'', behind a fast food restaurant in Anaheim scene of incident. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times.

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