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Suspect in Three Clairemont Deaths Taken Into Custody

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 31-year-old San Diego man was taken into custody and questioned Wednesday in connection with the slayings of three Clairemont women, all brutally stabbed to death within a two-block area since early January, police said.

The suspect was identified as Luis A. Lebron, a truck driver, whom homicide and robbery agents for the San Diego Police Department handcuffed and took into custody about 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Twin Palms Apartments in the 4400 block of Pacific Highway.

Residents at the 32-unit complex described their neighbor as a quiet man that none of them knew. They said he lived alone and had kept to himself since moving into Apartment 17 a month or two ago.

Charles Peters, who lives two doors down from Lebron, said that, shortly after 4 p.m., he heard a police helicopter hovering overhead and looked outside. He said about 25 police officers had circled Lebron and pinned him against a red Ford Fairmont that residents said is the suspect’s car.

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Peters said the officers arrived at the apartment building in six or eight cars.

“They were just regular cars, not police cars,” Peters said. “And none of the officers was uniformed. . . . Finally, two uniformed officers in a marked car showed up. They handcuffed him and took him away.”

However, as of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, police had not yet announced an arrest.

“They’re processing him, taking photographs and fingerprints,” said Sgt. Jim Clear, a spokesman for the department. “We just know they’re processing him. We can’t yet announce an arrest.”

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Wednesday night, a corps of investigators remained in Lebron’s Twin Palms apartment, processing evidence.

“We really can’t talk, we’re pretty busy,” one said as he answered the door.

A man identifying himself as Dick Carlton with the San Diego County district attorney’s office said a search warrant had been issued for Lebron’s address and that he was considered a suspect in the Clairemont slayings.

Lebron’s apartment is within walking distance of Les Girls, a Loma Portal nightclub where Tiffany Paige Schultz, 20, a San Diego State University student, moonlighted as a nude dancer. Schultz, who lived on Cowley Way in Clairemont, was killed Jan. 12. She had been stabbed more than 50 times.

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On Feb. 16, Janene Marie Weinhold, 21, a student at UC San Diego, was found stabbed to death in her apartment on Clairemont Drive, two blocks from where Schultz was slain.

On April 3, Holly Suzanne Tarr, 18, a high school senior from Okemos, Mich., on a spring-break vacation to visit her brother, was found stabbed to death in an apartment on Cowley Way.

Moments after Tarr was stabbed, a man was seen fleeing the apartment. He was later described by Richard Williams, a 58-year-old maintenance man who briefly confronted a knife-wielding man, as being 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with brown skin.

Residents who saw the man leaving the area described him as black, and police later released a composite drawing that identified the suspect as a black man, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10.

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Tenants at Twin Palms said Wednesday that Lebron is a light-skinned black man who had told a neighbor he was from Puerto Rico.

Several residents said they believed Lebron worked as a truck driver for an oil company, delivering gasoline to filling stations.

The manager of the complex, across Pacific Highway from the General Dynamics Convair plant, is out of town on vacation. But Adelina Mackey, who lives across the courtyard from Lebron, said she was close friends with the manager, who had told her that Lebron requested a unit with no furniture--either his own or that furnished by the management.

“We all thought that was a little strange,” Mackey said. “We couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want furniture. He had a bed in there, a TV and a weightlifting workbench, and other than that, we didn’t know much about him.”

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