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Arrest made in Stockton serial killer case

October 18, 2022

There have been major updates in the search for the Stockton serial killer after the Stockton Police Department made a public statement on October 15 announcing a major update in the investigation.

The Stockton serial killer took the lives of Juan Vasquez Serrano, 40, Paul Yaw, 35, Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, Juan Cruz, 52, Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, and injured Natasha LaTour, 46 who survived her injuries.

Previous post outlining the case and victims can be read HERE<<

In a statement to the public posted to the Stockton PD Facebook page at 23:10 on October 15, Chief Stanley McFadden shared limited details regarding the arrest of a suspect in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.

McFadden stated that the arrest was aided by an influx of tip-offs from the community to the Stockton Crimestoppers line after the reward for information was raised to $115,000 last week. The tips, coupled with police investigation, led to the arrest of the suspected serial killer, who police say was in the process of searching for his next victim when he was apprehended.

Police started following the suspect at his home after he left the premises in his vehicle, and tailed him as he began driving around town.

The suspect was dressed in dark clothing, with a mask pulled down off his face. He fit the description of the killer provided by surviving victim and witness, Natasha LaTour, who was shot ten times by the killer while camping near the train tracks in an industrial area off Park and Union streets. After being attacked on April 16, 2021, LaTour rushed the killer, who fell to a knee, and continued firing at her point-blank as a train rolled by in the background, before walking off.

LaTour, who had been homeless and struggling with drug addiction, said police did not take her seriously or come to interview her after the incident while she was in hospital, adding that it was she who had to contact them again and push to get a detective assigned to the case.

The suspect was apprehended at approximately 2AM around Village Green Drive and Winslow Avenue, Stockton.

 

During the arrest, police found a firearm tucked into the man’s waistband, and believe he was hunting for his next victim at the time they apprehended him. An image of the firearm released by police shows a black and gray semi-automatic handgun with non-metal elements.

The suspected serial killer has been named as Wesley Brownlee, 43.

On the night of the arrest in the Central Valley city, Brownlee was said to be loitering around in secluded areas, including parks and dark places around town. Police described the suspect stopping to look around before moving on and McFadden believes they prevented what could have been another homicide.

Brownlee’s apartment has been searched for further evidence.

According to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office, Brownlee has open charges of: CARRY LOADED FIREARM IN PUBLIC UNDER SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES,  CARRY CONCEALED WEAPON IN VEHICLE and MURDER and is being held without bail.

His date of birth is listed as 05/20/1979, with a height of 6"2 and Weight of 165lbs, matching the description provided by a witness and correlating with the likeness of the person-of-interest caught on a surveillance video that was previously shared to the public.

According to the database, Brownlee’s next court hearing is scheduled for 10/18/2022 at 01:30 PM at Stockton Court.

Not much is currently known of Brownlee, but it has been reported that he has a criminal history, although the details of which are, at the time of writing, unknown.  Public records show a DUI in 2009, a felony in 2017, and traffic violation in 2021 and 2022.

Brownlee is also said to have lived in Stockton and the surrounding areas over the years.   

Stockton Police worked with officers in Chicago to determine whether or not two 2018 killings in Rogers Park neighbourhood could be linked to the Stockton serial killer murders, however, there does not appear to be any link so far.

Stockton Mayor Kevin J. Lincoln released a statement to the public, thanking them for their assistance in catching the suspect, saying: “To the community, thank you for everything that you’ve done. Thank you for stepping up, thank you for exercising your voice, thank you for submitting the hundreds of tips that have come in on a daily basis. This could not have been done, and today would not have been possible without you.”

Although the sole suspect in the murders has been apprehended, the investigation is far from over and Stockton police is encouraging the public to keep submitting tips in what Chief McFadden has deemed a very active investigation.   

The Stockton Police Department is encouraging anyone with information to call our tip line at (209) 937-8167.  You can also email your information to policetips@stocktonca.gov.

You can submit anonymous tips to Stockton Crime Stoppers by:

TYPE - Submit a Tip online using the Stockton Crime Stoppers website at StocktonCrimeStoppers.org.

TALK - Call Stockton Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600.

DOWNLOAD the P3 Tips Mobile App and submit tips anonymously.

 

Sources: [X][X][X][X][X]

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