LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A former sanitation worker charged with murdering 10 women and girls as a Los Angeles serial killer dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” is now considered a suspect in six more slayings, police said on Wednesday.
Police said they would refrain from immediately seeking additional charges against Lonnie David Franklin, 59, so as not to slow down the ongoing criminal case against him.
“We do not want to stop the clock ... and start again,” Los Angeles police detective Dennis Kilcoyne said at a community meeting to discuss the investigation.
Two of the six additional female victims tied to the case were killed during a 14-year lapse between an initial spate of “Grim Sleeper” murders that ended in 1988 and several more that began in 2002. That gap earned the killer his “Grim Sleeper” moniker.
Of the remaining four slayings, two are of women whose bodies were discovered in the 1980s and two are victims who were reported missing in 2005 but whose bodies were never found, police said.
Detectives said they linked Franklin to the six additional killings after reviewing hundreds of old case files and seeking the public’s help in identifying a collection of 180 pictures of women and girls that were found in his possession.
Individuals shown in 48 of those images remain to be identified, police said.
Franklin made a living as a sanitation worker and mechanic before he was arrested last year. He came under suspicion after police took a DNA sample from his son in an unrelated case and found that it closely resembled DNA evidence recovered in the “Grim Sleeper” murders.
“Every human life deserves the best that we can do,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at the community meeting. “All the victims are in my heart as I know they’re in yours.”
Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Steve Gorman and Cynthia Johnston