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Ex-Security Guard Is Arrested in Rape-Slaying Case : Homicide: The suspect was arrested after a stakeout in Tustin. Police say “physical evidence” at the crime scene linked the suspect to the killing.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 20-year-old former security guard suspected of raping a Huntington Beach woman and bludgeoning her to death with a hammer was arrested Wednesday night, police said.

Following a tip, police staked out a residence at 15482 Pasadena Ave. in Tustin and arrested Shaleke Shamsideen Nasir at 8:55 p.m. without incident, Lt. Jeff Cope said.

Huntington Beach investigators obtained an arrest warrant Thursday charging Nasir, of Orange, with the murder of 21-year-old Lena M. Forbes, Lt. Ed J. McErlain said.

On Friday, Huntington Beach police held a press conference to ask the public for help in locating Nasir, who they believed was still in Orange County. It marked the first time that investigators revealed how Forbes was killed.

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Forbes, who leased apartments at the Windjammer complex at 7701 Warner Ave., was found dead on the floor of her bedroom by a maintenance worker on Aug. 5 after she failed to show up for work that day. Police said a hammer found in her apartment is believed to be the murder weapon.

Two days after Forbes’ body was discovered, police found her car abandoned in Santa Ana, according to McErlain, who said investigators believe that the vehicle was stolen by the suspect.

Nasir was an acquaintance of the victim, McErlain said, declining to say exactly how the two came to know each other.

According to McErlain, “physical evidence” found at the crime scene linked the suspect to the killing. But he declined to elaborate.

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Nasir, who is originally from Hinesville, Ga., has lived in Orange County for the last 18 months, McErlain said. He has worked as a security guard in the past, but is currently unemployed, he added.

Residents told detectives that they have seen Nasir in the Orange-Tustin area.

Investigators believe that the suspect uses several other names, including Sham Nasir and Mohammed Shabazz, McErlain said.

Nasir was booked into Huntington Beach Jail without bail on suspicion of murder, rape, robbery and burglary, Cope said.

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