Investigators have identified a woman they say is the fifth victim of a serial killer sentenced to death earlier this year for the slayings of four other women in Orange County.
In February, Steven Gordon was sentenced to death in the murders of four Orange County prostitutes. Gordon, who acted as his own attorney during the trial, said he wanted to get the court case finished as soon as possible, telling jurors, "If you kill four people like this in cold blood, you deserve to die. I believe that."
But during an earlier interview with Anaheim Police Department Detective Julissa Trapp about one of those women, Gordon indicated there might be another victim -- one that authorities did not know about. Trapp shared details about that meeting with Gordon and the investigation it launched in an interview with NBC's "Dateline".
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Note: Full "Dateline NBC" report is scheduled for broadcast Friday.
During the interview, Trapp said that Gordon told her, "You're missing one."
Gordon said the killing happened in February 2014 and gave Trapp a description -- black, early 20s, short, black hair, tattoos -- of what was then a "Jane Doe" victim. He also indicated the woman was from Compton.
"I feel a responsibility, because Jane Doe is not a missing person. She's an unknown," Trapp told "Dateline." "If I don't look for her, who will? And if I don't bring her home, who will? It's my job… I know there is a family out there, wondering where she is."
A lead came from a bail bondsman who told her about a woman who had skipped a court appearance. He also was looking for her, and Gordon's description seemed to match.
The victim was eventually identified as Sable Alexandria Pickett, who authorities say was two months shy of her 20th birthday when she encountered Gordon and co-defendant Franc Cano. Prosecutors said the two men drove around and ambushed their victims and likely abducted Sable along Beach Boulevard on Valentine's Day 2014.
She was killed later that night, investigators said at a Thursday news conference.
Trapp shared the result of her investigation with Sable's family in March. She also gave her mother a rosary that she had when she prayed for guidance during the investigation.
Sable went to Compton High School and got her GED, grandmother Michelle Malveaux told NBC's "Dateline." Sable was planning to enlist in the military, but those plans changed when she did not pass a math test and began working as a prostitute when she was 18.
No charges have been filed in connection with the killing, but family members said the investigator's hard work brought them important answers.
"My heart is light now. I don't have to worry," Malveaux told "Dateline." "I know she's in heaven."
The district attorney's office told NBC4 Thursday that prosecutors are waiting for the police department's report to decide whether charges will be filed.
Gordon was convicted of the other slayings in December after a trial in which he called parole and probation officials to the stand. He said he wanted them to accept some blame for the killings "because they didn't do their job."
During the trial, Gordon called Cano the main culprit in the killings of 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 20-year-old Kianna Jackson, 34-year-old Josephine Vargas and 28-year-old Martha Anaya. But prosecutors portrayed Gordon as a "big brother" figure who manipulated Cano.
The two were arrested after they appeared to socialize together, a violation under rules for registered sex offenders, and cut off their GPS monitoring devices.
Investigators found only Estepp's body, but that and DNA led to breaks in the case that tied Gordon and Cano to other killings.
Cano pleaded not guilty and is awating trial. His next court apperance is in May.