Suspect arrested in Stockton serial killings investigation
The Stockton Police Department said Sunday they have arrested a suspect in the investigation of three serial killings in the city.
Police said 41-year-old Michael Nesmith was arrested at his home on the city’s west side and is expected to be formally charged after his arraignment Monday.
The Stockton Police Department said in a statement that their investigation began when police received an anonymous call on Sept. 12 about possible serial killings in the city’s Parkview area.
A day later, officers responded to a crime scene at the St. Vincent Society at 799 West Harrison St. where they found three bodies.
A fourth body was found in two trash bags, authorities said.
“As horrific as the acts that are alleged to have been committed by this suspect are, it is important to recognize that we also have victims of this suspect. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this horrific crime,” said Police Chief Craig Lickle in a press conference.
Nesmith was arrested without incident late Sunday, and booked into the Santa Clara County jail. He faces three counts of investigation of homicide, two counts of false imprisonment, and one count of felony possession of body parts without a medical warrant.
He is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to be formally charged Monday.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Brian Weems at 408-865-7100.
The three victims in the case were identified as Mary Cottone, her 15-year-old daughter, and her 16-year-old foster daughter. Police said the victims were killed in different areas in the city and “investigators believe there is more victims in areas beyond these three locations.”
At a press conference with the chief on Saturday, Police Chief Craig Lickle said the killings began on the night of Sept. 9 but did not go into the days following.
The chief also said that a man known to police as “Sloppy Steve” had been in the city for four days and had used different identities to go about his crime spree.
Lickle said the man’s activities and the locations of the killings are similar to the method used by serial