A Serial Killer Isn't Preying on OC Prostitutes, Say Experts, as Bodies Pile Up and Women Go Missing
When the Santa Ana Police Department last month asked the public for help in locating three women last seen Aug. 13, including two who were last in an area of the city known for drugs and prostitution, the first image that flashed in my mind was the face of Tina Hoang at right.
The body of the 20-year-old Bellflower mom who had been busted in the past for prostitution was found on the sand next to a lifeguard tower in Newport Beach on March 4, 2013, and police a month later labeled the case a homicide.
What if, I wondered last month, if Orange County was now dealing with a serial killer preying on prostitutes?
Extending the notion further, why is it that Orange County law enforcement formed a multi-agency task force when homeless men were being fatally stabbed over a few months of late 2011-early 2012 but were not doing so now when the victims were female prostitutes? Are cops making a judgment call on which type of victims are worthy of their attention?
Anaheim Police Lt. Tim Schmidt, the department spokesman, provides the answer--not directly but substantively--in a recent Orange County Register story.
"We don't have the evidence to say they're connected," Schmidt told the Register of the cases involving missing persons Kianna Jackson, Josephine Vargas and Martha Anaya in Santa Ana and the late Tina Hoang and Jarrae Estepp, who'd worked as a prostitute before her body turned up in an Anaheim trash recycling facility on March 14. The 21-year-old's death is also being investigated as a homicide.