PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Officers in the Santa Monica Police Department’s Cold Case Homicide Unit arrested a man Wednesday whom they believe is responsible for the murders of two women more than 10 years ago.
Edric Dashell Gross, 46, was taken into custody by investigators as he was sitting in Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles.
Investigators believe that Gross killed Jacqueline Lee Ovsak, 42, and Dana Caper, 41.
Ovsak’s body was discovered by construction workers in an abandoned building on the 1500 block of Seventh Street on April 3, 2001. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
Caper was found over a year later on Oct. 29, 2002 on the bluffs near the 800 block of Palisades Park. Caper, a transient, had been living on the bluffs. Police discovered that she, too, had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
Both homicides were investigated until leads ran out and the cases went cold, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, SMPD spokesman.
In September 2007, investigators in the cold case unit reopened both investigations. Through DNA processing and new leads, Gross was identified and linked to both murders.
He was booked at the Santa Monica Jail for murder. His bail is set at $1 million, and he is expected to be arraigned Friday.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Larry Nicols at (310) 458-8939 or Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463), or submit the tip online at http://www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from your mobile, or by visiting their website at http://www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward by Crime Stoppers.