ANAHEIM >> Two registered sex offenders have been arrested in connection with the murder of four women across Orange County, including one whose body turned up at an Anaheim recycling plant and three who disappeared in Santa Ana, police said Saturday.
Franc Cano, 27, and Steven Dean Gordon, 45, were arrested about an hour apart near their RVs on Friday, Anaheim police Lt. Bob Dunn said.“We believe we have two serial killers in custody and we have stopped them in their tracks,” he said.
Cano was arrested about 6 p.m. in the 5100 block of East La Palma Avenue in Anaheim, and Fordon was arrested just after 7 p.m. in the 3100 block of E. La Palma Avenue, Santa Ana police officials said.
Dunn said detectives in Santa Ana and Anaheim launched a joint investigation after the naked body of Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 21, was found in the conveyor belt of the recycling plant last month. The probe led detectives to connect the men to her slaying, and the disappearance of three women who frequented a Santa Ana neighborhood known for drug dealing and prostitution.
Santa Ana police identified the three other missing women as Kianna Jackson, 20, of Las Vegas, who was last seen in Santa Ana on October 6, 2013; Josephine Vargas, 34, of Santa Ana, who was last seen in Santa Ana on October 24, 2013; and Martha Anaya, 28, Resident of Santa Ana. She was last seen in Santa Ana on November 12, 2013.”
The Los Angeles Times says outreach workers with an Oklahoma nonprofit had frequent contact with Estepp in Oklahoma City in 2012, when she was featured in several videos of street life posted on YouTube and elsewhere.
Though no other suspects were thought to be involved, Dunn said detectives were continuing to look for more potential victims across the country.
The Orange County Register reports both men were convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on children under 14 years old. As a requirement of their conviction, both were required to wear GPS tracking bracelets, though officials wouldn’t say whether the tracking devices played a role in linking Gordon and Cano to the women.
No further details were released pending a news conference planned for Monday.
- Staff and AP report