Los Angeles police are expected Tuesday to discuss the arrest of a man in connection with the beatings of three homeless men, two of whom died, in the downtown area and with a similar attack on a man in Santa Monica.
Authorities in Texas also want to question the man in connection with the disappearance of two relatives.
Ramon Escobar, 47, is a person of interest in the disappearance of Rogelio Escobar and Dina Escobar, Lt. Humberto Lopez of the Houston Police Department told the Los Angeles Times.
Both went missing late last month and foul play is suspected in their disappearances, Lopez told The Times.
Escobar was arrested around 7 a.m. Monday by Santa Monica police officers investigating the beating of a man in the 1500 block of Seventh Street. The victim had suffered head injuries “consistent with blunt force trauma” and he was taken to a hospital in unknown condition.
Santa Monica police then contacted the Los Angeles Police Department, which later linked Escobar to the Sept. 16 baseball-bat beatings of three homeless men in downtown Los Angeles. Police on Monday confirmed that Escobar was being held without bail on suspicion of murder. Authorities declined to discuss the case further, instead scheduling a Tuesday afternoon news conference to discuss the case.
The trio of downtown Los Angeles attacks occurred between 4 and 5 a.m. on Sept. 16, and the LAPD later released surveillance video of a man suspected in those beatings, which investigators said were carried out with a baseball bat. Investigators noted that the suspect walked with a distinctively bow-legged gait.
The first attack was at the northwest corner of Fifth and Flower streets, while the second and third happened on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard, just east of Flower Street, LAPD Capt. William Hayes said.
All three victims were attacked while they slept, and the suspect went through their belongings before leaving the scene, Hayes said. Police confirmed last week that two of the victims had died while the third was critically injured.
At about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, 39-year-old Steven Cruze Jr. of San Gabriel was found fatally beaten beneath the Santa Monica Pier. Police have not yet determined if Escobar is linked to that attack.
Although Cruze was initially described by authorities as homeless, his family said that was not the case.
His father, Steven Cruze Sr., told reporters his son sometimes slept under the pier before going to work.
“He had a membership with a gym so could get up in the morning, go take a shower and go to work,” the elder Cruz said. “He knows so many people on this pier, he felt safe.”