Drugs found, witness arrested in San Bruno quadruple slaying

The Associated Press
Monday January 14, 2002

SAN BRUNO – Police have arrested a man who holds the lease on a San Bruno apartment, where four men were found dead. 

Jaime DeAlba, 27, is not a suspect in the multiple homicide but a material witness to the case. Police arrested him on suspicion of possession of narcotics Saturday at his parent’s residence in San Bruno after finding drug evidence. 

DeAlba had rented the apartment where the homicide took place for more than a year. Police have not yet found a woman also listed in the single-bedroom apartment lease. 

Neighbors had called police about 7:15 p.m. Friday after spotting people lying on the apartment floor and not moving, said San Bruno Police Capt. Russ Nicolopulos. 

The victims appeared to be Hispanic men in their 20s and each had been shot in the head, police said. Three of the four men had their hands tied behind their backs, and police are investigating the deaths as homicides. 

“At this point, we really don’t have a suspect or any leads that point to a specific suspect,” Nicolopulos said. 

Police said they found narcotics in the residence, but declined to say what kind and what kind of weapons were used in the crime. 

“We’re still trying to piece everything together as to what has occurred,” Nicolopulos said. “We don’t know what the motive is.” 

Police are withholding names of the dead men until autopsies are completed. They were still trying to pinpoint when the crime took place. 

At least one neighbor reported hearing “a loud sound” some time between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, Nicolopulos said. A neighbor reported seeing a white Cadillac with tinted windows and four occupants in the area Friday afternoon, when the killings were believed to have occurred. 

“It’s a tragic situation,” Nicolopulos said. “You have it all isolated in one place. It’s not a random-type occurrence.” 

The apartment complex where the homicides took place was surrounded by single-family homes in a city that hasn’t reported a homicide since 1999. San Bruno is a small city about 10 miles south of San Francisco.