The Irvine Police Department announced Tuesday that a “person of interest” was in custody in the killing of a 51-year-old cyclist on a bike path Jan. 19.
Commander Bill Whalen appears in a video on the police department’s Facebook page reassuring the public that this was an isolated killing directed solely at the victim, Sidney Siemensma.
“He knew his assailant, and this was not a random attack on a stranger,” Whalen says.
Police say the person of interest was in custody on an unrelated matter but have yet to identify the individual or possible charges.
Detectives want to keep as many details as possible secret to help preserve the integrity of the investigation, Farrah Emami, a police spokeswoman, explained to City News Service.
Siemensma’s body was found near his bicycle about 7 a.m. Jan. 19 on the bike path near the Los Olivos community. Witnesses said there was a lot of blood at the scene. The county coroner quickly confirmed what police investigators suspected: it was a homicide.
The victim’s family described Siemensma as an avid cyclist, devoted husband and a stay-at-home dad to a 10-year-old and 14-year-old.