Two sex convicts charged with raping and murdering four Los Angeles-area women were wearing GPS monitoring bracelets for having assaulted children when they allegedly committed the serial killings that began last fall, police said Monday.
Steven Dean Gordon, 45, and Franc Cano, 27, are registered sex offenders on parole for sexual acts with children younger than 14. The two transients were arrested Friday near an Anaheim trash-sorting facility where the naked body of 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, of Modesto, was found on a conveyor belt in March.
They were charged Monday with raping and killing her and three other women living in Orange County, all of whom had been involved in prostitution. Police would not say whether the bodies of the other three -- Kianna Jackson, 20; Josephine Monique Vargas, 34, and Martha Anaya, 28 -- have been found.
Police said at a news conference Monday afternoon that they were "confident" there is a fifth victim and possibly more.
Police said location data from the electronic monitors and the women's cellphone records have helped the investigation.
Gordon and Cano were each charged with four felony counts of special circumstances murder and four felony counts of rape, the Orange County district attorney's office said. If convicted, they would face a minimum sentence of life without parole, but they also would be eligible for the death penalty.
They are being held without bail and are to be arraigned Tuesday.
The suspects have known each other since at least 2012, when they cut their GPS devices in Los Angeles in April and hopped a bus to Las Vegas. They shared a room at the Circus Circus hotel until police and U.S. Marshals nabbed them a month later.
Gordon was convicted in 1992 on two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, and 10 years later was found guilty of kidnapping in Riverside County, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Cano's child-sex conviction occurred in 2008.
The disappearances in Santa Ana began in early October soon after Kianna Jackson, 20, arrived in the city for a court hearing on four misdemeanor charges of prostitution and loitering to commit prostitution, according to court records cited by the Los Angeles Times. Vargas and Anaya, who also had been arrested on a prostitution charge, were reported missing over the next month.