A man suspected in the stabbing deaths of three people near a homeless camp south of Compton has implicated himself in the killings, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.
Detectives had long suspected Tracy Walker of being involved in the series of fatal attacks that began in June 2020 in Rancho Dominguez, authorities said. They picked him up Thursday after finding him near a homeless encampment next to Compton Creek, where all three bodies were found.
Walker was arrested on suspicion of felony murder after officials said he implicated himself in the slayings during an interview with homicide detectives. The 56-year-old is being held in lieu of bail of $2 million.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Walker with three counts of murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to spokesman Greg Risling. Walker faces life in prison if convicted.
The “heartless and brazen nature of these murders against some of the most helpless members of our community shock the conscience,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in a statement. “My office will be seeking the appropriate justice given the circumstances, and that is why we are seeking a life sentence in this case.”
Walker was expected to be arraigned Tuesday.
The first of the three killings occurred during the summer. Shortly after midnight on June 7, the body of Patricia Loeza was found in the dirt embankment near Compton Creek. Loeza, 26, had been stabbed in the upper torso and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to records from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Seven months later, another body was found nearby. Kenneth Edward Jones, 26, also suffered stab wounds to the upper torso, as well as blunt force trauma to the head, authorities said. He was declared dead Jan. 15 after his body was discovered east of the Compton Creek bed and north of Del Amo Boulevard.
On Feb. 9, sheriff’s deputies from the Carson station uncovered the body of Cesar Mazariegos on the east side of Compton Creek, in the dirt embankment near where the bodies of Loeza and Jones were found. Mazariegos, 30, had also been stabbed in the upper torso, officials said.
All three victims appeared to be homeless and potentially lived at the camp near Compton Creek, where Walker was taken into custody, sheriff's officials said.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.