ANAHEIM (CBS) —  Police Saturday announced that they have arrested a suspect in the murder of four homeless men in Orange County.

At a press conference Saturday, police said 23-year-old Itzcoatl Ocampo of Yorba Linda would be charged with all four murders.

Ocampo was arrested Friday night after allegedly murdering a Vietnam veteran named John Berry. Berry was well known to the community and well liked, several people told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler.

Good Samaritans allegedly followed Ocampo and gave police information that led to the arrest. Witnesses followed Ocampo for a quarter mile before police detained him.

“We are extremely confident that we have the man who is responsible for all four murders of homeless men in Orange County,” Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said.

Police did not say if Ocampo confessed but they said there were many similarities in the four slayings to lead them to believe only one suspect was responsible for all the crimes.

Kristine Lazar, reporting for KCAL9 and CBS2, said Ocampo is “a former Marine who has been unable to find work.”

She also reported the man lived with his mother in a rental property.

Police have not offered a motive for the slayings. At a vigil for the victims — so heavily attended it spilled out into the streets and blocked the Carl’s Jr. drive-in  — Lazar spoke to many friends of the final victim. They described him as a quiet man who often turned down financial help or handouts.

He also turned down a place to stay. Said one woman, “He would say he was fine. He would stay under the light.” Another woman said, “He told me he was okay where he was. He felt safe.” But John Berry also believed he had been followed for several days suggesting the killer targeted him.

Each victim was stabbed multiple times, said authorities.

Anaheim Deputy Chief Craig Hunter said Ocampo fits the description of the man wanted for three stabbing deaths — in Anaheim, Placentia and Yorba Linda — dating to Dec. 20.

The first homeless man stabbed to death was 53-year-old James McGillivray, attacked as he slept outside a Placentia shopping center. Eight days later, the body of Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was discovered on Anaheim’s Santa Ana River Trail. On Dec. 30, 57-year-old Paulus Cornelius Smit was found dead behind the Yorba Linda library.

Police believed the killer was particularly brazen because Smit was apparently killed in broad daylight.

(©2012 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.)

Comments (27)
  1. Gail says:

    What a surprise. Thank God he was caught. Next stop, deportation.

    1. Jeezus says:

      Deportation?? But it says he’s a Yorba Linda man.

      1. Susan says:

        What legal resident names their kid that?

      2. Gabriel says:

        Most White people are racist, what can you expect? Nothing but ignorance.

    2. Xen says:

      Gail, not deportation. Execution. Why let this dirtbag off for murder.

    3. Jeezus says:

      i was being sarcastic, Standard Gabriel.

    4. Tango 99 says:

      No bottomfeeding ILLEGAL ALIENS live the YL. It is upper class and no carts allowed on the streets. Just gardeners and they must be licensed and insured. No wetb@cks in the YL.

  2. stan says:

    next step the gas chamber

  3. James says:

    Jeezus, that’s right every Yorba Linda resident is a legal citizen.

    1. Jeezus says:

      man, no one knows humor when they read it?? Tell the news writer not me, i was using sarcasm, dingle berry.

    2. Jeezus says:

      People are to be labeled by their birthplace, not by their most recent town they’ve visited or lived in for however long. An Indian man who lives in Los Angeles is still an Indian man, but happens to live in LA. My comment was an obvious sarcastic remark on the lame title of the article. If he’s not really born in Yorba Linda then he shouldnt be labelled as such. He can be labelled as a Marine or a :Mexican if that’s where he’s from. He legally entered Mexico in that case, thru birth, and he legally entered the Marines here too. But as you and I are assuming, he didn’t legally gain the title of Yorba Linda man, so i made my brilliant comment that went over everyone’s little heads.

      1. Ty says:

        I think he earned the title Yorba Linda man,
        I went to elementary school with him at Mabel Paine
        and Yorba Linda Middle School.

        Name pronounced: “eetz-kwal”
        Was a good guy, but if it is him I am glad he has been caught.

  4. Doug says:

    For christ sake Pelosi come and get your patriots.

  5. Genaro Torres says:

    You strike at us
    But what did we do?
    We have nothing, and yet you’re after us
    Have you gone mad? Or is it just the demon within you?
    Why is it that you attack and not give?
    We’ve lost what you’ve gained?
    Now I’m not saying that were best, but were just same as the rest
    We might not have much but still gives you no right to do such
    You stabbed me once, and again, and again
    Now I’m bleeding, and you’re leaving
    You think this is fun and games
    It’s just such a shame
    How one man could go this far

    i wrote this poem for the homeless who were murdered , R.I.P to you all

    1. Dianne Foster says:

      Beautiful effort. Some memorable lines: “We have nothing, yet you’re after us.” That questioning by the homeless man is very strong. “We’ve lost what you’ve gained?” You know it might even apply, in a general sort of way, to the very forces in society which led some gentle, kind men to become homeless in the first place (I’m thinking of John Berry). Then too, homeless poverty is a sort of judgment on us as a society.

  6. Tony says:

    Don’t judge this man so soon, he is a marine most likely affected by war defending this country; And “yes” that does not justify him for all these murders,if in fact he committed them, but keep in mind that he might be a product of this insane war.

  7. Gabriel says:

    White people with their racist comments, typical. If these White people only knew that “Itzcoatl”, is an Indian name, indigenous to this land. Anyway, Itzcoatl is obviously a legal citizen if he was a Marine. Also, most serial killers are White people anyway, shall we deport them back to Europe? Gail and Susan are obviously “White” names, they must be rednecks.

    1. Jeezus says:

      Indians aren’t really “indians” anyway, Dr. History Lesson.

  8. Susan says:

    Don’t be jealous.
    P.S. Look up the origin of Gabriel

  9. pedro says:


    if you keep cutting our welfare check, and make us buy car insurance in order to drive, this will happen,

  10. Frank says:

    Pedro, you see this is the problem. If we had deported the Mexican the moment he entered the country those poor homeless people would be still alive.

  11. John says:

    Did he think he was an Angel of Death or something? That by killing them, he would release them from their misery?

  12. Pink Floyd Fan says:

    With a first name like that you can understand why he’s so angry.

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