Crime & Justice

Long Beach police make arrests in 2008 killings of 5 homeless

Long Beach police have made multiple arrests in the 2008 shooting deaths of five transients at a homeless camp behind a building near the 405/710 interchange.

Those killed appeared to be massacred, Long Beach police said at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The dead were discovered on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008, after police received a call saying someone had been murdered. They included two women and three men, some with multiple gunshot wounds.

Those killed included Vanessa Malepule, 34; Jose Villicana, 44; Katherine Verdun, 24; Frederick Neumeier, 53; and Hamid Shraifat, 41.

Malaepule was an unemployed single mother of six at the time, the Times reports; her children were 8, 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16 at the time. Authorities believe those killed were friends, according to the Times.

The Long Beach Police Department is holding a news conference about the murders at 4 p.m. with Chief Jim McDonnell, Mayor Bob Foster and homicide detail lieutenant Lloyd Cox.

Long Beach police wouldn't comment further beyond what was in their press release before the news conference.