Homeless Man Faces Life in Prison for ‘Cold Case' Strangulation Murders

A homeless man faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he's scheduled to be sentenced later this month in the strangulation murders of two women more than 15 years ago.

Edric Dashell Gross, 50, was found guilty this week of the murders in 2001 and 2002, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

He was found guilty of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders, prosecutors said.

The body of 42-year-old Jacqueline Lee Ovsak was discovered on April 5, 2001, in an abandoned building, according a Santa Monica Police Department news release. The second slaying investigation began on Oct. 29, 2002, when Santa Monica police found the body of Dana Caper, 41, on the side of a bluff.

Both homicides were investigated until leads ran out and the cases went cold, police said.

In September 2007, investigators assigned to the Santa Monica Police Department's cold case unit, reopened both investigations said they linked the killings to Gross through DNA evidence.

Gross was tried for the murders in 2015 but the case ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Contact Us