A 72-year-old ex-cop Joseph James DeAngelo believed to be the so-called Golden State Killer, one of California's most prolific serial killers and rapists, has been arrested in Sacramento, officials announced Wednesday.
Sacramento police arrested Joseph James DeAngelo in connection with the infamous cases, Sheriff Scott Jones announced at a news conference.
Sacramento County jail records show Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested overnight on suspicion of two counts of murder cited in a Ventura County warrant.
The FBI says it has a team gathering evidence at a Sacramento-area home linked to DeAngelo.
"For over 40 years, countless victims have waited for justice," Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said at the news conference.
During the past days, DNA analysts at the crime lab offered up a break in the case, and a warrant was issued for two 1978 murders, Schubert said.
Dubbed the "East Area Rapist" and "the Original Night Stalker", the man accused of 12 killings, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries between 1976 and 1986, Los Angeles Times reported.
The first recorded rape was on June 18, 1976. The victim, Jane, was dozing in bed with her 3-year-old son after her husband left for work. Then, she was abruptly awoken.
The case sparked the hunt for the man who authorities say went on to commit rapes and killings in California over the next decade.
At the time of the crimes he was described as being about 5-foot-9 with blond or auburn hair.
The FBI has created a website dedicated to the case where the public can view police sketches of the attacker and hear from witnesses and victims' families.
The FBI and California officials last year renewed their search for a suspect in the cases, offering a reward of up to 50,000 U.S. dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual known as Golden State Killer.
In 2004, California voters passed an initiative, bankrolled by the brother of one of his victims, that mandates collection of DNA samples from people convicted, or even arrested, in felony cases.
It's been more than 40 years since his first recorded attacks, which began in and around Sacramento in Northern California.