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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / LONG BEACH

Fourth of five victims identified

November 07, 2008|Ari B. Bloomekatz

The Los Angeles County coroner's office Thursday identified the fourth of five victims found dead in a Long Beach homeless encampment near the 405 Freeway.

Frederick Doyle Neumeir, 53, was homeless and stayed in the Long Beach area, said Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner's office.

Officials have identified three of the other victims: Lorenzo Perez Villacana, 44, Katherine Verdun, 24, and Vanessa Malaelupe, 34, who lived with her mother and six children in Long Beach.

Winter said that officials are still trying to contact the family of a fifth victim, a man in his 50s. He said it was difficult because the victim's immediate family lived abroad in Jordan.

The five victims were discovered Sunday after an anonymous tipster told police where they might find a murder victim. When officers arrived in the makeshift encampment, wedged behind a commercial building near the Santa Fe Avenue off-ramp, they found five people who had been shot to death.

The camp was covered by thick brush and cannot be seen from the freeway or even overhead from a helicopter.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

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