US & Canada

'Grim Sleeper' serial killings suspect arrested in LA

Officials remove items from the home of Lonnie Franklin in Los Angeles. Photo: 7 July 2010
Image caption Detectives have searched Mr Franklin's house

A man suspected of killing at least 10 people over more than 20 years has been arrested in the US city of Los Angeles.

Lonnie Franklin Jr, 57, is alleged to be the serial killer called the "Grim Sleeper" by California's media.

Most of the victims were prostitutes in Los Angeles who were sexually assaulted and then shot between 1985 and 2007.

The attacker was given his nickname because he apparently stopped killing from 1988 to 2002.

Detectives have spent years investigating the killings.

The apparent breakthrough came after Mr Franklin's son - who is currently in prison - was swabbed for DNA using a technique known as a "familial search". The convict's DNA indicated he was a close relative of the serial killer.

The prisoner's family tree was then drawn up, with his father eventually emerging as a suspect.

Detectives later swabbed a cup used by Mr Franklin at a restaurant to obtain a DNA profile to compare with DNA evidence found at crime scenes.

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