SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Authorities say a man was found fatally bludgeoned on a Southern California beach the same day two of three homeless men died after being beaten last weekend in downtown Los Angeles.
Santa Monica police initially described the man found dead under the city's pier Thursday as homeless. But family members tell the Los Angeles Times that 39-year-old Steven Ray Cruze Jr. lived with his parents in San Gabriel and sometimes slept outside on a hammock after fishing at night in Santa Monica.
Lt. Saul Rodriguez says Santa Monica detectives are checking with Los Angeles police for links to the Los Angeles beatings.
The LA victims were sleeping when an assailant hit them with a bat Sunday. Two died Thursday.
Investigators believe the assailant is homeless and the motive was robbery.