Erika Aguilar Orange County Reporter

Erika Aguilar
Contact Erika Aguilar

Erika Aguilar covers Orange County for KPCC. Prior to that she was the station's crime, courts and public safety reporter.

Erika joined KPCC in 2012 after four years reporting on environmental issues for public radio station KUT in Austin, Texas, where she earned recognition for her work covering the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood Army post in Killeen, the 2011 Texas wildfires and the state’s ongoing drought. Some of her reporting has been featured on NPR and American Public Media’s "Marketplace."

Before joining KUT, Aguilar worked in TV news as an assignment editor and assistant producer for the CBS affiliate in Austin. She’s a journalism and history graduate of Texas State University.

Any tips or story ideas can be sent to Erika by email at

Stories by Erika Aguilar

Nonprofits say cellphones key to helping Syrian refugees

Smartphones are a lifeline for Syrian refugees and immigrants settling in Southern California. Nonprofits preparing for their arrival are seeking donations.

Ron Thomas settles civil case over son's beating for $4.9 million

Fullerton city officials and the father of Kelly Thomas, who was beaten by police officers in 2011, have agreed to settle for $4.9 million.

Shuttered bus depot could be OC's next homeless shelter

Orange County officials are considering using a shuttered bus center in Santa Ana as a place to shelter the homeless. Homelessness has risen 5 percent in the county in two years.

OC officials approve Anaheim homeless shelter

After years of debate, Orange County supervisors Tuesday decided to purchase space for a year-round homeless shelter in Anaheim.

El Niño cleanup targets homeless in Santa Ana River bed

To prepare for winter storms, Orange County sanitation workers try to clear the Santa Ana River flood channel, where hundreds of homeless people camp.

OC pursues unprecedented oversight over prosecutors

In an unparalleled move, O.C. supervisors have decided to expand the role of civilian oversight and review to all law enforcement, including the district attorney.

Kelly Thomas wrongful death civil trial begins

After four years, the wrongful death civil case involving the Fullerton police beating of homeless and mentally ill man Kelly Thomas is underway in Orange County.

Homeless shelters struggle to fit into neighborhoods

Homeless shelters, no matter how big or small or where, have always struggled to fit into neighborhoods where homeowners and businesses fear crime and lower property values are to come.

Orange County refugee agencies preparing for Syrians

Southern California refugee groups gear up for receiving Syrian refugees and immigrants in the next year as the U.S. commits to accepting more.

Anaheim extends moratorium on short-term rentals

Overwhelmed by the exponential growth of short-term rentals, Anaheim has extended its moratorium on new rentals while the city studies how to regulate the properties.

Anaheim temporarily suspends anti-camping homeless law

Suspension of anti-camping and storage laws in Orange County cities comes after lawsuits and community pressure.

Arab-American activist's slaying unsolved 30 years later

Thirty years after his assassination in Santa Ana, the family and friends of Arab-American activists Alex Odeh await answers to who planted a bomb at his office.

Pasadena activists continue to push for police auditor

A group of activist will hold a forum Tuesday on whether the Pasadena Police Department should have additional civilian oversight.

Anaheim could get more Latino council members

The Anaheim City Council on Tuesday will consider for the first time a proposed redistricting map that has three predominately Latino districts.

OC officials propose safety plan for homeless shelter

Orange County officials Wednesday night presented a plan designed to quell safety concerns over a proposed homeless shelter in Anaheim.