A new serial killer is on the loose in the Stockton California area of the country. There have been five murders of men in the age range of 21 to 54 over the last several months, and it looks to be the work of one person.
Officials in the area are searching for a person of interest that has ties to the five murders. All of the victims were men and they all were alone at the time they were fatally shot, according to the police in charge. The slayings all happened at the night or in the early morning hours.
The police have released only minor details about the string of killings. According to official documents, these are some of the details released to the public: At 12:31 am on July 8, a 35-year-old man was fatally shot; at 9:49 p.m. on Aug. 11, a 43-year-old man was fatally shot; at 6:41 a.m. on Aug. 30, a 21-year-old man was fatally shot; at 4:27 a.m. on Sept. 21, a 52-year-old man was fatally shot; and at 1:53 a.m. on Sept. 27, a 54-year-old man was fatally shot.
The police in Stockton told ABC News that each of the victims was ambushed in the attack and none of them were robbed. They also said that none of the murders involved drugs or were gang-related.
The police also told ABC News that they have physical evidence that links the five different crime scenes together.
Just this week the San Joaquin County’s Office of the Medical Examiner identified the victims.
- Paul Yaw, 35, was killed on July 8
- Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, was killed on Aug. 11
- Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, was killed on Aug. 30
- Juan Cruz, 52, was killed on Sept. 21 victim; and
- Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, was killed on Sept. 27
Jerry Lopez, the brother of Lawrence Lopez, told ABC Sacramento affiliate KXTV, that his brother “was just a person who was out here at the wrong place at the wrong time at the wrong circumstance. It’s hard to process that this has happened. I mean, me and my brother have been like twins. We were a year apart so we were pretty close.”
The family of Paul Yaw stated to ABC News saying that Paul was a “good boy” who grew into a “good man.” They said he had a big heart and he would always live in their hearts.
“He was always there for you if you needed him. He was a son, brother, father, grandson, nephew and cousin. I still can’t believe he’s not coming back,” the family said.
There is a $75,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the investigation put up by the city of Stockton, and the organization called Stockton Crime Stoppers is posting an additional $10,000 reward.
The day after the last crimes were committed against Lopez, the police in Stockton were saying they were not sure if the killings were related.
“[We’re] still looking at it from a random point of view, but we do see some similarities,” Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Wednesday. “We have been provided absolutely zero evidence that leads us to believe that one individual is running rampant in the city of Stockton killing people.”
But their position changed just two days later when the department was able to tie the five killings together and released an image of the person of interest in the investigation.