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2 Yorba Linda slayings added to Ocampo case

The commander of the task force investigating the killings of four homeless men said there is 'significant evidence' leading authorities to believe that Itzcoatl Ocampo was involved with the slayings of Raquel Estrada, 53, and Juan Herrera, 34, in their Yorba Linda home.

February 03, 2012|Nicole Santa Cruz
  • Police say that Itzcoatl Ocampo, charged with the murders of four homeless men, may be connected to the Oct. 25 slayings of a woman and her son in their Yorba Linda home.
Police say that Itzcoatl Ocampo, charged with the murders of four homeless… (Associated Press )

Police say they have connected Itzcoatl Ocampo, the man charged with stabbing four homeless men to death, to the Oct. 25 slayings of a Yorba Linda woman and her son.

Anaheim Police Lt. Julian Harvey, commander of the task force investigating the killings, said in an interview Thursday evening that there is "significant evidence" leading authorities to believe Ocampo was involved with the slayings of Raquel Estrada, 53, and Juan Herrera, 34, who were stabbed to death in their Yorba Linda home.

Ocampo was arrested Jan. 13 after he was chased by bystanders after allegedly stabbing John Barry, 64. Barry was the fourth homeless man to be killed since Dec. 20.

The stabbings frightened the homeless community and inspired many to go to shelters.

"We've developed evidence that leads us to believe very strongly that Mr. Ocampo was involved in the double murders" of Estrada and Herrera, Harvey said.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, February 08, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Homeless slayings: In the Feb. 3 LATExtra section, an article about how a task force investigating the slayings of four homeless men in Orange County had tied suspect Itzcoatl Ocampo to two more slayings misspelled the last name of one of the homeless victims, John Berry, as Barry. The same error occurred in coverage of the slayings in the Feb. 2 and Jan. 26 editions.

Eder Herrera, 24, was arrested on suspicion of killing his mother and brother as he was driving away from a friend's home the morning after the slayings. He pleaded not guilty Jan. 23 but remains in custody.

Harvey said the Orange County district attorney's office has evidence to keep Herrera in custody and would not specify Ocampo's relation to the crimes. "It does not mean Mr. Herrera is not involved," he said.

Police would say only that there is a connection between Herrera and Ocampo, without indicating what the connection might be.

Harvey said the proximity of the Oct. 25 crime scene on Trix Circle to Ocampo's home -- less than one mile -- and the method of killing spurred investigators' interest in the case. "It's a strong link," he said.

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nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

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