LOS ANGELES, July 7 (UPI) -- A 57-year-old man suspected of being the "grim sleeper" serial killer was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles, city police said.
Police said Lonnie David Franklin Jr., accused of killing at least 10 young women from 1985 to 2007, was taken into custody outside his South Los Angeles home at 9:20 a.m. PDT.
"We never gave up on this investigation, not for one minute," police Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement. "Our detectives worked relentlessly following up on every lead they received. Their hard work has resulted in today's apprehension of this vicious killer.
"I am hopeful that the hard work of these men and women will bring some closure to the families who tragically lost loved ones during the last 23 years."
Franklin was identified under California's first successful use of "familiar searching," a DNA tool allowing investigators to pursue "partial genetic matches" for evidence when a suspect's DNA information is not in the state's database, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley told the Los Angeles Times. The technique was approved by California Attorney General Jerry Brown at the request of Cooley and others.
All of Franklin's alleged victims were black, and most were "apparent prostitutes or drug addicts," the Times said.
Neighbors reacted with shock at the arrest of Franklin, a retired trash collector.
"He's the neighborhood mechanic," Eric Robinson told the Times. "He volunteers at the park. A very good man. His daughter just graduated from college, I believe. He's a good mechanic, worked out of his garage. I've been here since 1976 -- that's how long I've known him. I'm not pretty shocked, I'm all the way shocked."