Itzcoatl Ocampo was arrested Friday in connection with the serial killings of four homeless men since late December.
The arraignment was delayed until March 16 for the ex-Marine charged in the stabbing deaths of four Orange County homeless men and the slaying deaths of a woman and son.
Itzcoatl “Izzy” Ocampo, 23, was expected to enter a plea in connection with the deaths of Yorba Linda residents Raquel Estrada, 53, and her son, Juan Herrera, 34, who were found stabbed on Oct. 25.
Police initially arrested another son of Estrada, Eder Giovanni Herrera, in connection with the killings, but charges were dropped against him when investigators connected Ocampo to the case through DNA evidence collected at Ocampo’s home, officials said.
Prosecutors said Ocampo and Eder Herrera were high school friends and the ex-Marine lived about a mile away from Herrera at the time of the murders.
Both victims suffered stab wounds to their upper bodies, similar to the wounds found on the four other victims Ocampo has been charged with killing, officials said.
The mother was stabbed over 30 times with a knife and her body was left on the kitchen floor, prosecutors said.
The brother was stabbed over 60 times and his body was left in a hallway.
“This case has now expanded from murdering random, vulnerable strangers, to murdering people he knew,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said at a Friday press conference announcing the additional charges against Ocampo. “It is chilling to know, that these murders took place two months before the murders of four homeless men began.”
Rackauckas said Friday authorities would release Herrera from custody soon. Herrera faced 52-years-to-life in state prison.
A call to Ocampo’s attorney Randall Longwith was not immediately returned.
In addition to the mother-son killings, Ocampo, an Esparanza High School graduate who fought in Iraq, faces charges in the slayings of James McGillivray, 53, in Placentia on Dec. 20; Lloyd Middaugh, 42, in Anaheim on Dec. 28; Paulus Cornelius Smit, 57, in Yorba Linda on Dec. 30; and John Berry, 64, in Anaheim on Jan. 13.
Police arrested Ocampo shortly after Berry’s slaying.
More than two dozen people saw the incident, chased the suspect, and directed police to him, police said.