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Suspect in Homeless Killings Is Iraq War Vet

Calif. man talked of hallucinations
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2012 4:38 PM CST
Suspect in Homeless Killings Is Iraq War Vet
FBI special agent in charge William O'Leary speaks at the podium before several police chiefs for a news conference to announce the arrest of Itzcoatl Ocampo.   (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

(Newser) – A suspect detained for killing homeless people in Southern California is a mentally unstable Iraq war veteran who complained of hallucinations, the Los Angeles Times reports. When Itzcoatl Ocampo returned from service in 2010, "he was sick," his uncle says. But Ocampo never went to therapy appointments made by his uncle; mostly he sat in a bedroom rented with his mother and sister and played video games.

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Mexican-born Ocampo had joined the US Marine Corps to get away from his family, but didn't like it: "I feel alone in the middle of the desert," he said in a phone call home. After returning, he complained of seeing and hearing things. His conditioned worsened after he learned of a friend's death in Afghanistan. Anaheim police say they are "extremely confident that we have the man" responsible for the killings, and plan to seek four counts of murder against the veteran. (Read more homeless stories.)

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