YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Serial Killer's 19th Victim Identified as Riverside Woman


Riverside County authorities identified Elenor O. Casares, 39, Tuesday as the 19th victim of a serial killer who preys on prostitutes and drug users.

The Riverside woman's body was found early Monday afternoon in a citrus grove in south Riverside, apparently not long after she was killed.

Riverside Sheriff's Lt. Al Hearn said Tuesday that Casares, who had a history of prostitution and drug abuse arrests, was apparently last in contact with her family late Monday morning. Within hours--at about 1:10 p.m.--her body was discovered by citrus workers in a grove off Victoria Avenue, about half a mile from a Riverside police station.

Hearn said that a 14-member sheriff's task force investigating the killings is hoping that the apparently short time between Casares' death and the discovery of her body will provide a break in their long-running investigation.

"It makes any evidence that may be there that much more viable," Hearn said.

He added, though, that the task force is awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm how long she had been dead.

The homicide is the latest in a string of killings they believe began more than five years ago, authorities said. Casares is the fourth victim discovered in Riverside. Seven other bodies have been found in Lake Elsinore, and the rest in scattered areas of western Riverside County.

As in the case of other recent victims, Hearn refused to disclose whether Casares was found clothed or how she was killed. Some of the earlier victims were found naked and were stabbed or strangled.

Investigators are seeking information from Riverside residents who may have seen Casares or others Monday near the citrus grove between Jefferson and St. Lawrence streets. The Sheriff's Department recently offered an $11,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the serial killer.

Los Angeles Times Articles