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OC Investigators Probing Possible Link In Stabbing Deaths Of 3 Homeless Men

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ANAHEIM (CBS) — Investigators in Anaheim, Yorba Linda and Placentia were combining resources Tuesday to determine if the fatal stabbings of three transients in those cities over the past month have any connection.

“At this time we have not ruled out the possibility that there are one or more suspects but all of those things are still under investigation,” Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. “It’s still very early on in the investigation. There’s a lot more police work to be done here.”

The most recent slaying occurred on Friday. Just before 5 p.m., 57-year-old Paulus Cornelius Smit was found at the base of a stairwell outside of a library at 18181 Imperial Highway in Yorba Linda, according to Sgt. Jim Griffin of the Brea Police Department, which also patrols Yorba Linda.

Paramedics tried to revive Smit, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, Griffin said.

About 6:15 a.m. last Wednesday, Anaheim police were called when someone on a bike trail east of Tustin Avenue and west of the Riverside (91) Freeway saw the body of 42-year-old Anaheim transient Lloyd Middaugh, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.

About 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 20, 53-year-old James Patrick McGillivray was fatally stabbed in the 100 block of North Bradford Avenue in a shopping center in Placentia.

Surveillance video from a nearby business shows the killer was waiting for McGillivray, Placentia police Lt. Eric Point said.

The killer is a thin man about 18 to 25 years old and 5-foot-6 to 5-foot- 9, Point said. He was wearing all black clothing.

Investigators have been posting fliers in areas where transients congregate and were asking the public to keep an eye out for the homeless.

Anyone with information was asked to call (714) 765-1944.

Police agencies throughout Orange County have stepped up patrols and the Brea police department is assembling a task force to handle the investigation. Police say the Federal Bureau of Investigation may get involved.

Authorities will detail their latest efforts in the investigation at a news briefing at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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