The body of a homeless man was found near a puddle of blood at the base of a Yorba Linda Public Library stairwell Friday evening, and Brea Police homicide investigators believe 57-year-old Paulus Cornelius Smit was murdered.
Cops were called out to a 5 p.m. report of a man down in an area behind the library at 18181 Imperial Highway that is not frequented by patrons. The library was closing at the time.
Police, who say no weapon was found near Smit, have not yet released a cause of death. His last known address before he became homeless was in Yorba Linda.
A joint statement from the Brea, Anaheim and Placentia police departments reveals that homicide detectives are trying to determine whether Smit's slaying and the fatal stabbings of transients James McGillivray and Lloyd Middaugh are related.
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McGillivray, 53, was found with multiple stab wounds Dec. 21 at a retail center in the 100 block of North Bradford Avenue, Placentia. On Wednesday, the body of Middaugh, 42, was found stabbed to death on the Santa Ana River Trail between Tustin and Lakeview avenues in Anaheim Hills near the 91 freeway.
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