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Crime: Five murders have been connected by new evidence sparking concerns of a serial killer in California

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A manhunt has been launched for a suspected serial killer who shot dead five men in California over the last three months.

The bodies of victims aged 21 to 54 - four of whom were Hispanic - were found in Stockton since July, and police have now said they are linked.

They were Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, Salvador William Dubedy Jr., 43, Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, Juan Cruz, 52 and Lorenzo Lopez, 54.

The men were found dead alone and in the early hours of the morning and all killings took place in dimly lit environments. Some of the victims were homeless.

On Friday Stockton Police Department released an unclear image of a suspect and said information is limited and that the suspect could be a man or a woman.

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Police have only said 'physical evidence' connects the five killings.

An image of suspect put out by Stockton Police Department. Chief McFadden said in a press conference on Friday that based on the image they could be 'either male or female' © Provided by Daily Mail An image of suspect put out by Stockton Police Department. Chief McFadden said in a press conference on Friday that based on the image they could be 'either male or female'   Five murders have been connected by new evidence sparking concerns of a serial killer in California © Provided by Daily Mail

Police Chief Stanley McFadden said on Friday the department needs help from to public to bring new information to light having ruled out gang violence and robbery.

Information leading to an arrest will now be rewarded with $85,000, $75,000 from the City of Stockton and a further $10,000 from Stockton Crime Stoppers.

Stockton Police Department said that misinformation has been spread. Stockton police told ABC news that all of the victims were ambushed and that none of the attacks were drug or gang related.

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Paul Alexander Yaw was the first to be killed on July 8, his family have confirmed. He was taken to hospital after being shot in the early hours of the morning but died there from his injuries.

Yaw was the only one of the five victims who was not Hispanic.

His mother Greta Bogrow said in a statement: 'He was my son, a father, a grandson, nephew, cousin and brother and was loved by many. He has left a huge hole in our hearts and I hope they catch the person(s) responsible before this happens again.'

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Bogrow said that Yaw was homeless when he died.

Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, was found dead inside a car on East Hammer Lane on August 11, according to San Joaquin County Coroner's Office.

Lorenzo Lopez, 54, was one of the older victims. His brother Jerry Lopez said: 'It's hard to process that this has happened. I mean, me and my brother have been like twins. We were a year a part so we were pretty close.'

He hopes that the new $85,000 reward will bring evidence to light that will help with the capture of his brother's killer.

Five murders in THREE MONTHS see cops hunt 'serial killer' in Stockton

July 8 at 12.31am

Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, White

5600 Kermit Lane

August 11 at 9.49am

Salvador William Dubedy Jr., 43, Hispanic

4900 West Lane

August 30 at 6.41am

Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, Hispanic

800 E. Hammer Lane

September 21 at 4.27am

Juan Cruz, 52, Hispanic

4400 Manchester Ave.

September 27 at 1.53am

Lorenzo Lopez, 54, Hispanic

900 Porter Ave.

'They are working hard on it. I see the Chief is doing a great job. He is working really hard for the city trying to figure out what's going on,' said Lopez to KCRA 3. 'I do appreciate you, Chief.'

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Salvador William Dubedy Jr., 43, was a Stockton native and father. He died at the scene he was shot, five minutes from Yaw's shooting, after police attempted to save him.

His wife only found out about the supposed connection between the five murders after through social media and was disappointed she wasn't reached out to directly.

Stockton mayor Kevin Lincoln explained that his office is working closely with the police department to bring the killer to justice.

Stockton Police Chief McFadden said during the Friday conference: 'What makes these cases so challenging is that there are no witnesses due to the location, the timing, the lack of light.'

He told reporters that detectives have reviewed several hundred hours of video footage.

'We feel they are interconnected somehow. To what extent we just don't know at this time,' he added.

'We have a series of homicides that we believe are interconnected. The problem we have is we have no evidence to tell us if its one person, two or three. We just don't know. We have no video footage that has even captured a crime, that's even captured a handgun in somebody's hand.'

'By definition you could very well call this a serial killer,' he said.

'It doesn't fit with what we are accustomed to seeing with gang homicides.

One of out victims was a white male so we have no indication that these are hate crimes.'

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Some of them did have homes. Some even lived in the area, but not all were unhoused.'

The chief is now calling for information from the public. 'Look at your ring cameras and any footage you have from these dates provided.'

McFadden, who became police chief just five months ago, also said that CCTV surveillance of the sites where shootings had occurred was limited.

Stockton police Chief Stanley McFadden who took on the position just five months ago. He says the department believes the killings are connected but is now calling to the public for information © Provided by Daily Mail Stockton police Chief Stanley McFadden who took on the position just five months ago. He says the department believes the killings are connected but is now calling to the public for information

'Either this person or persons is very lucky in choosing where they're going or they're doing their homework and going to places where they know there are no cameras,' he said.

He said that the police department has sent away ballistics for testing but was yet to receive a response.

He advised citizens of Stockton not to walk alone at night and not to be in dimly lit areas.

A tip line has been opened to for people with information to come forward. The number is 209-937-8167. Information can also be sent to [email protected]

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