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Mystery over new charges in college student's decapitation

February 27, 2012 |  7:31 am

Image: Family photo of Samuel Herr taken in  2009. Credit: Handout

Two people were charged last week in connection with the slayings of an Orange County college student and his friend, but authorities have released few details about the new accusations.

All authorities would say is that the two new defendants were not involved with the homicides but discovered information afterward that they should have relayed to police.

"Someone had the opportunity to contact the police or knew there was evidence of a crime and failed to do so," said Costa Mesa police Lt. Paul Dondero.

Police, however, have declined to publicly name the new suspects or describe their alleged roles in the case.

"The release of more information at this stage of the ongoing investigation may compromise witnesses and/or may jeopardize the possible arrest of any additionally involved persons," Costa Mesa police Lt. Tim Schennum wrote in an email.

The suspects were arrested and charged in connection with the slaying of college student Samuel Herr, 26, of Costa Mesa and Herr's friend, Irvine resident Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23. Herr was decapitated.

Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 27, who worked as a community playhouse actor, has been charged in the killings and faces the death penalty if convicted. Prosecutors allege that Wozniak killed Herr, his neighbor at the Camden Martinique apartment complex on Pinecreek Drive, after luring him to a military base in Los Alamitos.

Wozniak, prosecutors allege, then killed Kibuishi at Herr's apartment. The scene was made to look like a sexual assault so authorities would suspect Herr of Kibuishi's slaying, prosecutors contend.

Herr's body was dismembered. Body parts -- including Herr's severed head -- were eventually found scattered in a park in Long Beach, according to the Daily Pilot.

Herr was an Afghanistan war veteran and Orange Coast College student. Kibuishi also attended OCC.

Wozniak has pleaded not guilty.


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-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo: Samuel Herr in  2009.