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Scott Jones, Monica Miller, Anne Marie Schubert

Former police officer named as 'Golden State Killer'

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Updated April 25, 2018 03:57 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California authorities say DNA in two 1978 killings in Sacramento led to the arrest of a man suspected of being a serial killer tied to dozens of slayings and sexual assaults in the 1970s and '80s.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert told reporters Wednesday that the DNA helped solve the case in the last six days.

She said the "answer was always going to be in the DNA" and the connection came in the slayings of Brian and Katie Maggiore.

Authorities say a serial killer committed at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and dozens of burglaries across the state. The attacker became known as the "East Area Rapist."

Schubert told reporters Wednesday that dozens of people committed their professional lives to the search and spent hundreds of hours seeking "justice for these victims and their families."

A law enforcement official has identified a suspected California serial killer as 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer.

The official confirmed the identity on condition of anonymity before an official news conference planned for noon Wednesday.

Sacramento County jail records show DeAngelo was arrested overnight on suspicion of two counts of murder cited in a Ventura County warrant.

The FBI says it has a team gathering evidence at a Sacramento-area home linked to DeAngelo.

A victim of the notorious serial killer and rapist says she's overjoyed after learning that police believe they've arrested the man responsible.

Jane Carson-Sandler says she received an email Wednesday from a retired detective who worked on the case telling her they identified the man and have him in custody.

She says she's ecstatic to have closure and to know her attacker is in jail.

Carson-Sandler, who now lives near Hilton Head, South Carolina, was one of dozens of women raped by an elusive serial killer police say killed at least 12 people.

She was attacked in her Citrus Heights, California, home in 1976. She and her three-year-old son were snuggled in bed together one morning after her husband left for work when the man broke into her house.

She says she hopes she'll have the opportunity to face her attacker in person. She says she has a lot of questions for him.

Updated April 25, 2018 03:17 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A law enforcement official has identified a suspected California serial killer as 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer.

The official confirmed the identity on condition of anonymity before an official news conference planned for noon Wednesday.

Sacramento County jail records show DeAngelo was arrested overnight on suspicion of two counts of murder cited in a Ventura County warrant.

The FBI says it has a team gathering evidence at a Sacramento- area home linked to DeAngelo.

Authorities say a serial killer committed at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and dozens of burglaries across the state in the 1970s and 1980s.

The attacker became known as the "East Area Rapist."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in California plan to make a "major announcement" in the case of an elusive serial killer they say committed at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and dozens of burglaries across the state in the 1970s and 1980s.

A news conference will be held Wednesday afternoon in Sacramento to make "a major announcement," said District Attorney's spokeswoman Shelly Osorio. She offered no other information.

A woman who was sexually assaulted in California in 1976 by a man believed to be the East Area Rapist and who now lives in South Carolina told The Island Packet newspaper Wednesday that she has been contacted by detectives about an arrest.

"I'm overwhelmed with joy. I've been crying, sobbing," the woman said.

The Associated Press typically doesn't name victims of sexual abuse.

FBI and California officials in 2016 renewed their search for the suspect dubbed the East Area Rapist and announced a $50,000 reward for his arrest and conviction. He's linked to more than 175 crimes in all between 1976 and 1986.

As he committed crimes across the state, authorities called him by different names. He was dubbed the East Area Rapist after his start in Northern California, the Original Night Stalker after a series of Southern California slayings, and the Diamond Knot Killer for using the elaborate tie used to bind two of his victims.

Most recently called the Golden State Killer, the suspect has been linked through DNA and other evidence to scores of crimes.

Authorities decided to again publicize the case in 2016 in advance of the 40th anniversary of his first known assault in Sacramento County.

Armed with a gun, the masked rapist would break into homes while single women or couples were sleeping. He would tie up the man and pile dishes on his back, then rape the woman while threatening to kill them both if the dishes tumbled.

He often took souvenirs, notably coins and jewelry, from his victims, who ranged in age from 13 to 41.

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