El Cajon

Police Say They Caught His Killer

Oceanside resident Patrick Heard, 54, was stabbed to death on Aug. 22

Patrick Heard

El Cajon police said on Tuesday that they charged a man from that East County city in the violent death of 54-year-old Patrick Heard last month.

Heard was fatally stabbed by Daniel Perez, 30, in front of an apartment complex in El Cajon, according to police. After the killing, officials offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case, and, on Tuesday, investigators said information received through the Crime Stoppers tip line connected Perez to the crime.

Perez, an El Cajon resident, was already in custody for a separate assault and burglary case when he became a suspect in Heard's slaying, according to investigators.

El Cajon police first learned of the attack at about 11:20 p.m. on Aug. 22 when dispatchers received a report of a stabbing on the 400 block of Graves Avenues, just south of Interstate 8. When officers arrived, they found Heard in front of an apartment complex, suffering from at least one stab wound, ECPD Lt. Keith MacArthur said in August.

In August, officers said there had been a brief confrontation, during which a man, now believed to be Perez, stabbed Heard in the throat.

Heard was unconscious, and medics were called to help. He was taken to a local hospital, the ECPD said, but soon died of his injuries.

Police have not yet released a motive in the case, though they said on Tuesday that they did not believe the incident to be gang-related, nor did they think the men knew each other prior to the stabbing.

Homicide detectives are continuing their investigation and anyone with information on this case can reach out to the ECPD at (619) 579-3311 or call in a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Perez is currently being held without bail at the San Diego Central Jail on Front Street. He faces charges of first-degree murder, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. He's due back in court on Wednesday for an arraignment on the murder charge.

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