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Woman Held in Perris Is Suspect in Series of Killings

March 18, 1994|TOM GORMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

RIVERSIDE — A 36-year-old woman was arrested Thursday as a suspected serial killer who preyed on elderly women who lived alone, ending a monthlong reign of terror in local retirement communities.

The woman, identified by Perris police as Dana Sue Gray, an unemployed nurse from Wildomar near Lake Elsinore, was arrested as a suspect in one killing and is under investigation in two others and in the attempted murder of a fourth woman, authorities said.

Gray was arrested early Thursday by Perris police on suspicion of murdering June Roberts, 67. The woman, who lived alone in her Canyon Lakes home, was found strangled on Feb. 28.

Gray is under investigation in the slaying of Norma Davis, 86, who was found stabbed to death in her Canyon Lake home Feb. 14, and in the death of Dora Bebee, 87, of Sun City, whose body was discovered Wednesday.

A bank teller tipped authorities to Gray after she tried to use a credit card that belonged to one of the victims, said Deputy Tom Lohman of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Evidence at the scene of the Bebee killing was linked Wednesday to evidence at Gray's home, Lohman said.

A Perris Police Department spokesman said Thursday night that investigators were looking for additional evidence at Gray's home in Wildomar.

Lohman said Gray was picked out of a photographic lineup Thursday by a woman who survived an attack last Thursday. That woman, a Lake Elsinore antique dealer, said she was showing a woman some items in a back room when the woman told her to "relax" and began to choke her. She said she pretended to faint, and the woman fled.

"The victim got an excellent look at her," Lohman said.

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