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Slaying suspect an OCC student

Costa Mesa authorities searching for 26-year-old who drives white Pontiac Grand Am with license plate No. 4VJE803.

May 27, 2010|By Joseph Serna

Police have identified Samuel Herr as the primary suspect in the weekend killing of a 23-year-old woman in Herr's Costa Mesa apartment.

Herr, an Orange Coast College student, lives across the street from the campus in a fourth-floor, one-bedroom apartment in the Camden Martinique complex.

Police said the woman was a friend of Herr and was visiting him at his apartment when he allegedly shot her in the head.

Police are not identifying the woman because she also may be the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

Officers were called to Herr's apartment Saturday night about a possible dead body, and found the woman's body in Herr's bedroom. Herr was not at home when police arrived. Police said they haven't been able to contact him.

Serena Nguyen, who lives in the apartment below Herr's, said her mother reported hearing the woman arguing the night before she was found. The woman's friends were unable to reach her all day Saturday, she said.

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A bicycle remained locked up outside Herr's front door Tuesday. His parents declined to comment Wednesday.

Herr, 26, drives a white, four-door 2002 Pontiac Grand Am with California license plate No. 4VJE803.

Anyone with information about the incident or Herr's whereabouts are asked to call Sgt. Ed Everett at (714) 754-5395, or Det. Jose Morales at (714) 754-5637 or (714) 754-5280.

This is the second homicide in Costa Mesa in 2010. On Valentine's Day, an OCC student was killed when the car she was riding in was broad-sided by an alleged drunk driver fleeing a hit-and-run in Santa Ana.

Gustavo Vega, 22, of Costa Mesa, was arrested and charged with murder in the case. He has pleaded not guilty.

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