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Homeless Man Found Dead in Santa Ana, Police Don't Want to "jump the gun" And Say It's the Work of a Serial Killer

Photo by CarbonNYC via Flickr
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After the discovery of the body of a homeless man in Santa Ana this morning, local authorities are not willing to attribute the death to a serial killer targeting the homeless in Orange County. The body was found beside the truck in which the man lived, according to City News Service. There was blood in the truck but no obvious trauma visible on the front of the man, who was found lying face-up. However, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said they were unable to say yet if the death was a homicide, noting that that would have to be determined by the coroner.

Bertagna added that "everyone is jumping the gun on whether this is involved with the serial killer." If it is, he says, the appropriate authorities will be contacted to work on the case.

Authorities in Orange County linked three murders of area homeless men and determined it was the work of a serial killer. The first murder occurred on December 20, when James Patrick McGillivray, 53, was found stabbed to death in a shopping center in Placentia. On December 28, Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found stabbed to death when he was found near a bike trail. Two days later, Paulus Cornelius Smit, 57, was found stabbed at the bottom of a stairwell outside a library in Yorba Linda.

All three men were stabbed to death in their sleep, and the crime scenes were described as quite gruesome.

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Authorities released surveillance footage of the suspected killer, and have been working to caution the homeless population to be vigilant with the killer still on the loose.