Five of the women in photos found at the home of the suspected Grim Sleeper serial killer have been tentatively identified, but their status could not be confirmed pending further investigation, a police detective said today.
Hundreds of photographs were found at the home Lonnie David Franklin Jr. after he was arrested July 8 on suspicion of killing at least 10 young women and one man in South Los Angeles between 1985 and 2007. The killer was dubbed the Grim Sleeper because of a long gap between killings.
Of the pictures, video and undeveloped film found at Franklin's home, 180 photographs were posted Thursday on the website of the Los Angeles Police Department, as investigators sought to determine whether any of the women may be unknown victims.
Five of the women in the pictures have been identified, but Detective Dennis Kilcoyne told City News Service it was premature to say they are all alive and well.
"We are not confirming that at this time," Kilcoyne said. "They are only tentative until we hold interviews face-to-face with someone, not necessarily one of them."
The photos can be viewed at the Los Angeles Police Department's website, www.lapdonline.org; and on the Los Angeles County District Attorney's website, www.da.co.la.ca.us. Kilcoyne said the sites have received more than 11 million hits since the photos were released.
At a news conference on Thursday, Beck cautioned people that the photos were 20 to 30 years old, and those depicted -- if still alive -- would have aged accordingly. Beck urged people to call police with information about anyone they recognize in the photos.
"If there is somebody's photo among these 180 who is a victim, if there is somebody's identity that we need to establish, if there is some family in this city that goes without justice, then you will help us in achieving that for them," Beck said.
Anyone with information on the women in the photos should call the police at (877) LAPD-24-7; or Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS.