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Sitter Freed, Parolee Arrested in Slaying of Mother, 3 Children

January 11, 1986|United Press International

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A teen-age baby sitter who had been arrested in connection with the slaying of a family of four was released Friday after sheriff's deputies booked a convicted child molester on suspicion of murder in the killings.

The new suspect, Richard Allan Benson, 38, of Oceano, is a recent state prison parolee who allegedly committed the crime last weekend in order to have sex with his girlfriend's two young daughters, Lt. John Hastie said.

The original suspect, Michael J. Bonano, 18, of Nipomo, was released after detectives found evidence linking Benson to the crime, Hastie said.

Benson, who had already been booked at San Luis Obispo County Jail for allegedly kidnaping a woman at knifepoint Tuesday night, was rebooked Thursday night on suspicion of murder, arson and child molestation.

Autopsy results show that two of the victims, Stephanie Camargo, 4, and her sister, Shawna, 3, were sexually molested before they were bludgeoned to death in their home in Nipomo, a rural community 150 miles north of Los Angeles.

Investigators believe that Benson engaged in a weekend crime rampage in the Camargo house, first killing the girls' mother, Laura J. Camargo, 24, with a claw hammer Saturday night during an argument. He allegedly suffocated her 23-month-old son, Sterling Gonzales, the following night before attacking the girls.

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