The homeless man charged with raping and strangling two women in the early 2000s in Santa Monica plead not guilty Tuesday to murder charges, according to various reports.
Edrick Dashell Gross, 47, is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Jacqueline Ovsak, 42, and Dana Caper, 41, along with the special circumstance allegation that the women were killed during a rape and that Ovsak was killed during the commission of a burglary.
Ovsak’s body was discovered on April 5, 2001 in an abandoned building in the 1500 block of Seventh Street. Caper was found on the 800 block of Palisades Park on the side of the bluffs on Oct. 29, 2002.
Both homicides were investigated until leads ran out and the cases went cold, police said.
In September of 2007, investigators assigned to the department’s cold case unit, re-opened both investigations and through DNA processing and new investigative leads, Gross was identified and linked to both murders.
He was arrested Aug. 15 in Los Angeles and has remained in jail without bail. His next court date is set for Oct. 11, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.