ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A homeless man was found stabbed to death behind a fast-food restaurant in Anaheim Friday and police detained a man they believe is responsible for the killing, authorities said.
Police wouldn't discuss if the man in custody was connected to the slayings of three other homeless men in the area in recent weeks, all believed to be the work of a serial killer.
The dead man was found between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday near the restaurant at the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Imperial Highway, police said.
Witnesses to the killing followed a man who ran from the restaurant parking lot and led police to him, Anaheim police Deputy Chief Craig Hunter told the Orange County Register.
Police set up a massive containment area at the crime scene in a search for the killer.
Police were going through nearby neighborhoods, including a mobile home park, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Three other homeless men have been stabbed to death in north Orange County since mid-December.
James Patrick McGillivray, 53, was killed near a shopping center in Placentia on Dec. 20; Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found near a riverbed trail in Anaheim on Dec. 28; and Paulus Smit, 57, was killed outside a Yorba Linda library on Dec. 30.
Police suspect all three were victims of a serial killer. It was not known if the latest death was connected to the other killings.
Police have released grainy photographs captured from surveillance video that show a male suspect dressed in dark clothing. A white, late-model Toyota Corolla is also a vehicle of interest.
Police and advocates have been urging those living on the streets to head inside or buddy up in the wake of the killings.
Earlier Friday, the Orange County sheriff's deputies union announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.