Orange County: Murder Suspects Arraigned


Santa Ana – Suspects in Orange County’s serial homicides were arraigned on March 15 according to a press release from the Anaheim Police Department. The arraignment came a little more than a month after their arrests on March 11.

The suspects, Franco Cano, 27, and Steven Dean Gordon, 45, were arrested for murdering four women, three of which were last seen in Santa Ana. The victims are as follows: Kiana Jackson, 20, a resident of Las Vegas who was last seen in Santa Ana on Oct. 6, 2013; Josephine Vargas, 34, a resident of Santa Ana who was last seen there on Oct. 24, 2013; Martha Anaya, 28, a resident of Santa Ana who was last seen there on Nov. 12, 2013; and Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 21, an Oklahoma resident whose body was found on March 14 at an Anaheim recycling center. Estepp’s is the only body that has been found.

Detectives from the Anaheim and Santa Ana Police Departments are currently trying to identify a fifth victim who was last seen between February 14 and 16 near Katella Avenue. The victim is believed to be a petite African American woman in her early 20s.

Both Cano and Gordon have been previously convicted of committing “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under fourteen years of age,” according to California’s Sex Offender Registry. At the time of the crimes, both men were wearing GPS bracelets to track them because of these prior offenses. A Los Angeles County press release reported that both men had previously cut off their bracelets and fled to Nevada before being arrested again in 2012. Los Angeles County Supervisor, Michael Antonovoich, said, “This illustrates the fact that the ankle bracelets and GPS monitoring do not prevent crime.” Indeed this incident does provoke questions regarding the true effectiveness of bracelets including the extent to which they should be trusted to control and monitor criminals.