CPSO detectives help track and arrest serial killer suspect - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

CPSO detectives help track and arrest serial killer suspect

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

72-year-old Samuel Little is accused in the murders of three women in the Los Angeles area in the late 80s. A drifter of sorts, Little stayed in shelters across the country. Authorities said it was a stay in Lake Charles at the Salvation Army shelter that led to a drug arrest last April. The arrest put Little back on the radar of Los Angeles Police.

"Sometimes when you pay attention to the little things, the big things come into play, which is exactly what happened in this case. The deputy stopped him because he appeared to be drunk and he had a crack pipe on him," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso. 

LAPD got word of the arrest and reached out to Calcasieu Sheriff's detectives.

"I asked them if they would go out to the shelter where he was arrested and see if he was still staying there. And I just have to add that this guy was really hard to track down and get in custody because of how transient and mobile he was. We were always like a step behind him. We would be like two weeks behind. We would call agencies where we knew he was and he already had left and been in another state," said LAPD Detective Mitzi Roberts.

Little had been arrested and released and had skipped town. But detectives Les Blanchard and Brent Young weren't giving up. They took their investigation a step further and were able to track Little down to Louisville, Kentucky where he was arrested in September.

"They actually located an ATM that he had and tracked him down to a purchase he made in Kentucky. And up until then, we had no clue where he was," said Roberts.

Little's rap sheet is more than 100 pages and includes crimes in 24 states over the last 56 years. Based on his lengthy arrest record, detectives have a pretty detailed timeline on where he's been, but Roberts admits there are a lot of holes that are unaccounted.

Jurisdictions in at least nine states are now comparing their cold cases to Little's M.O.

"He chose his victims very carefully. Kind of like the people that lived on the fringe, high-risk neighborhoods, high-risk lifestyles. Either prostitutes or drug addicts and he would pick them up on the street or in a bar and then take them to a secondary location in a vehicle where we believe he would sexually assault and murder them and then dump them at a rural location," explained Roberts.

It brings up the obvious question - could Little be connected to the eight women found dead and dumped in rural fields in Jeff Davis Parish? 

Records show Little was incarcerated during the time of three of the deaths and according to Jeff Davis Sheriff's officials, after further investigation, there's no indication Little traveled into Jennings during the period of the other deaths.

Mancuso said while they don't believe he is involved in any murders in Calcasieu, they are also waiting to cross reference Little's DNA to some of their cold cases.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Mancuso credits the arrest to communication.

"We have got to work together no matter where it is, no matter what part of the country, no matter what jurisdiction. We have to work together because here's a guy that appears to be a serial killer and has probably killed all over this country and maybe finally we will get some justice," said Mancuso.

Authorities in California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio are now looking at cold cases. One case in Pascagoula, Mississippi has been reopened. Results from a DNA comparison to Little are still pending.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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