ANAHEIM (CBS) — Anaheim police are investigating the stabbing death of a homeless man. Police believe the have the killer in custody.
The body — believed to be that of a homeless Vietnam veteran named John — was found behind a Carl’s Jr. restaurant located at La Palma and Imperial Highway.
Police are also trying to determine if the stabbing is linked to a series of homeless murders in Orange County.
If linked, this would be the fourth homeless person murdered in several weeks.
Stu Mundel, reporting in Sky9, said a huge police presence responded to the scene within minutes.
They set up a perimeter and cordoned off several blocks in an attempt to find the killer.
A man in handcuffs has been detained, according to Mundel.
Police earlier said they were unsure if the man detained was involved in the murder but have since said they believe they have tonight’s killer in custody.
The Orange County Register has identified three previous victims. James McGillivray was killed Dec. 20 while sleeping outside a Placentia shopping center.
Eight days later, the body of Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found on the Santa Ana River Trail in Anaheim. Two days later, Paul Cornelius Smit, 57, was found dead behind the Yorba Linda library. It was believed that Smit was stabbed in broad daylight.
All of the victims were stabbed repeatedly.
Just tonight, the Association of Orange County Deputies had announced a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to the killer’s arrest.
Stacey Butler, reporting for KCAL9 and CBS2, spoke to a man and his girlfriend who said the man killed Friday was named John.
He added, “[the deceased] was about 64, 65…he was a Vietnam veteran. He was the nicest guy. Never begged, never asked for anything. Just so nice. I can’t imagine anyone doing this to such a nice guy…who never hurt anyone.”
His girlfriend concurred. “He would end every conversation with ‘God bless.’”
A friend of John’s said Thursday morning John spoke of being fearful he had been followed by the serial killer Wednesday night.