November 30, 2013
Deputies found Itzcoatl “Izzy” Ocampo, 25, ill in his single-man cell about 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Central Jail in Santa Ana, said Lt. Jeff Hallock. Medical staff at the jail attended to him, and paramedics transported him to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, Hallock said.
Ocampo died at the hospital about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Hallock said. The Orange County district attorney’s office is investigating, as is routine with in-custody deaths, he said. The probe will probably take several weeks.
Orange County prosecutors were seeking the death penalty against Ocampo, who was scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing in January. His death means that the relatives of those killed will not have the chance to see him held accountable, said district attorney’s spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder.
“It really deprives the victims and the people of California of the ability to put Mr. Ocampo to death on our terms and get justice for the victims of these crimes,” she said.
His defense attorney, Randall Longwith, said in an email that he would have no comment “until we learn all the facts.”
Last year, Longwith told The Times that his client had been behaving erratically and complained that he heard voices. He said Ocampo suffered from tics and headaches.
For months Ocampo went undetected, authorities said, as a string of killings occurred in North Orange County, starting with the stabbing death of his childhood friend and the friend’s mother on Oct. 25, 2011. Raquel Estrada, 53, and Juan Herrera, 34, were stabbed and left to die on the floor of their Yorba Linda home, prosecutors alleged.
The killings continued on the streets with the slayings of homeless men.