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Suspected killer's ex-fiancee arrested in O.C. double slaying

November 21, 2012 | 11:17 am

Rachel Buffett.The former fiancee of a community theater actor charged in the double slaying of an Orange Coast College student and his tutor has been arrested by Costa Mesa police.

Rachel Buffett, 25, of Long Beach was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of being an accessory to murder after the fact and is being held on $1-million bail, according to police.

Police said Buffett remained a suspect during the two-year investigation. "She was never out of our focus," Costa Mesa Police Lt. Paul Dondero told the Daily Pilot. "She's always been in focus, along with other aspects of the case."

Authorities did not detail her alleged involvement in the killings.

At the time of the crimes, Buffett and Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 28, lived in the Camden Martinique complex in Costa Mesa, as did 26-year-old Samuel Herr, one of the victims.

Police said Wozniak, a noted community actor, killed Herr in the theater of the Joint Forces Training Center in Los Alamitos before dismembering his body and leaving his head and hands in nearby El Dorado Park Nature Center in Long Beach.

In May, a prosecutor from the Orange County district attorney's office presented evidence that Wozniak lured Herr to the military base under the pretenses of needing help to move furniture.

Authorities allege Wozniak then killed Herr's friend and tutor, Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23, in Herr's apartment, then staged the crime to make it look like a sexual assault.

Wozniak then used Herr's cellphone to text Kibuishi, asking her to come over and talk, police said.

Wozniak reportedly told detectives he was motivated by money. He and Buffett had planned to marry soon.

After Kibuishi's body was discovered in Herr's apartment, Herr became a person of interest for police. Authorities discovered Herr's ATM card was used at locations in Long Beach and found a 17-year-old boy withdrawing cash from Herr's accounts.

The boy led police to Wozniak, who was later arrested at his bachelor party in Huntington Beach. He remains in jail.

Police also arrested Wozniak's 38-year-old brother, Timothy Wozniak, on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact to the crime. Dondero said he wouldn't eliminate the possibility of more arrests.


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Photo: Rachel Buffett. Credit: Costa Mesa police