SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – The father of a local fisherman who was found murdered near the Santa Monica Pier is asking for justice.
Authorities believe the crime could be the work of a serial killer as concerns grow over more attacks.
Santa Monica police initially described the man as homeless, but family members told KCAL9’s Tom Wait 39-year-old Steven Cruze Jr. was sleeping on the beach before going to work.
A vigil was held Friday night at the Santa Monica pier for the father of two who was bludgeoned to death early Thursday morning.
“He wasn’t homeless, he just slept over here and go to work from here sometimes,” Steven Cruze Sr. said. “He had a membership in the gym, so he’d get up in the morning, go take a shower and then go to work.”
Police said Cruze Jr. may have been targeted at the pier for appearing homeless.
Two of three homeless men who were brutally beaten last weekend in downtown Los Angeles have since died and the third is in critical condition. Police are looking for a suspect in a security video and are unsure if murders could be connected.
Cruze Sr. said his son never thought he was in danger at the pier.
“He just loved everybody, he trusted everybody, that was the bad thing,” he said.
Police are hoping a video showing a person of interest appearing to walk bowlegged will help bring answers into the killings. Officials said it’s possible the attacker is homeless himself and the motive may be robbery.