Second slaying victim found

Decapitated body of original suspect is found scattered between training base and Long Beach park Thursday night.

May 28, 2010|By Joseph Serna

A Costa Mesa man allegedly killed and dismembered an Orange Coast College student who lived in his apartment complex and then killed another student, throwing authorities off his tracks by trying to make the first victim look like a suspect, police said Friday.

Daniel Wozniak, 26, is charged with two counts of murder with sentencing enhancements for doing it for financial gain. The events were described as a bloody scheme to cover up a trail in which he allegedly killed Samuel Herr, 26, and his friend Juri “Julie” Kibuishi, 23, who also attended the college.

Wozniak’s arrest Wednesday represents a dramatic turn in an investigation by Costa Mesa detectives into Kibuishi’s death. An Irvine resident, she was found dead in Herr’s bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head May 22. Herr’s father had gone to his son’s apartment looking for him and discovered Kibuishi’s body.

Herr and Wozniak both lived in the Camden Martinique apartments, 2855 Pinecreek Drive, across from OCC, and reportedly knew each other as neighbors.


Before turning their focus on Wozniak, police had been trying to find Herr, who lived four stories directly above Wozniak and was considered the primary suspect in Kibuishi’s killing.

Officers allege that Wozniak killed Herr at about 1 p.m. May 21 at Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, dismembering his remains in order to hide parts of the body. He allegedly removed Herr’s head, left arm and right hand and discarded them at El Dorado Park in Long Beach.

Police found Herr’s remains Thursday night.

Authorities said that Wozniak used Herr’s cell phone to text message Kibuishi in an effort to trick her into coming to Herr’s apartment at about 12:04 a.m. May 22.

There, he shot her in the head and staged it as a possible sexual assault by partially removing her clothes, police said.

Officers initially thought that Herr was the killer because they could not find him in the days after Kibuishi was found dead, and the text messages on his cell phone showed he had asked her to come over, police said.

Police were thrown off temporarily, but as they searched for leads to Herr, they found records showing that his bank account had been accessed at an ATM in Long Beach.

When police contacted the person using Herr’s card, who was a 17-year-old boy, the boy told police he had withdrawn money for Wozniak.

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