5th Victim in Homeless Attacks Identified

The fifth victim in a series of brutal attacks on homeless people in San Diego has been identified as 55-year-old Michael Joseph Papadelis, police said Thursday.

Papadelis was found screaming under an overpass the morning of July 15 near 18th and C streets downtown. He had significant wounds to his upper torso, police said.

Papadelis, who lives in San Diego and also has ties to Florida and New York, is expected to survive, investigators said.

His family in Florida spoke to NBC 7 by phone on Thursday. They said they haven't spoken with Papadelis in 25 years after having a falling out.

His sister, Deborah Vantrease, said the family never stopped searching for him in Florida and wants him to know she's here.

"I definitely want him to know that he has family here in Florida who want to help," she said.

Investigators said his beating was similar to a series of attacks that started on July 3 and targeted homeless San Diegans. Three people died and a fourth victim was seriously injured in those attacks.

Jon David Guerrero was arrested soon after Papadelis’ attack and has been charged by prosecutors in all five attacks.

Police have said physical evidence found at the scenes and in Guerrero's apartment links all attacks.

He is charged with murder, attempted murder and arson, as two of the victims were lit on fire, and could face the death penalty.

Police Captain Dave Nisleit said Wednesday more alleged victims have come forward this week, telling police they had also been attacked by Guerrero.

Homicide police are investigating those claims, but Nisleit said it could take days or even weeks before they are able to determine if those claims are valid and if any additional charges against Guerrero can be filed.

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