Texas police questioned man days before California killings

Authorities say a man with a history of violence who'd been deported from the United States six times wasn't flagged for arrest by Houston police and fled to California, where he's now charged in a series of killings.

Houston police spokesman Kese Smith says 47-year-old Ramon Escobar came to the attention of Houston police when his aunt and uncle disappeared in August but he was released since no foul play was suspected.

However, Smith added that foul play was now suspected in the disappearances.

Escobar arrived in California earlier this month, where authorities say he began a string of attacks that killed three men and seriously injured four, most of them homeless.

Investigators believe that Escobar bludgeoned the men with a wooden baseball bat or bolt cutters as they slept on the beach or on the streets of Los Angeles and Santa Monica in order to rob them.

Escobar was charged Wednesday in Los Angeles County with three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder and four counts of second-degree robbery in attacks involving homeless men.  He was ordered held without bail pending a Nov. 8 arraignment.

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