The gun used to kill both a tantra teacher hiking in Fairfax, California, and a Canadian tourist in San Francisco was stolen from a car parked near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco police revealed in a news conference Friday.
And the motive for both homicides appears to be robbery, Cmdr. Toney Chaplin said — the first time a possible reason for the seemily bizarre and violent deaths on two innocent victims was revealed. It also marks the the second and third times in less than three months that a stolen gun was used to kill someone in the Bay Area in a high-profile homicide.
Chaplin said the gun was stolen Sept. 30 from a lock box in the car, which had been parked in a residential neighborhood near the wharf. Chaplin said the driver accidentally left the car unlocked. The owner reported it stolen Oct. 1.
Two days later, on Oct. 3, Audrey Carey, 23, who lives near Montreal, Quebec, was found shot in the head in Golden Gate Park as thousands gathered nearby for the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, according to police. She had been on a solo backpacking trip, Chaplin said, "doing what young people do." Her body was found in a wooded area. Carey's mother, through a statement, has asked for privacy. But Chaplin said that Carey's family is glad that suspects are behind bars. "They've endured a great tragedy," he said.
Then, on Monday, tantra teacher Steve Carter, 67, was shot multiple times and killed while hiking with his dog on a popular trail in Fairfax, police said. Carter had recently moved from Middletown, California, to be with his wife, Lokita, as she sought breast cancer treatment at the Marin Cancer Institute. A memorial for Carter is scheduled for Halloween.
Authorities arrested the drifters on Wednesday in Portland, Oregon. And on Friday, the Marin County District Attorney formally charged drifters Sean Michael Angold, 24, Morrison Haze Lampley, 23, and Lila Scott Alligood, 18, with the murder of the hiker, even though they were still being held at the Multnomah County jail without bail. Detectives tracked the three to Portland using the GPS tracking in Carter's stolen Jetta, which he left near the trail head before his hike. And Chaplin said on Friday that they also found some of Carey's personal belongings, including her camping gear, with the suspects, too.
San Francisco police said the trio will also be arrested on charges of robbery and murder in connection with Carey's death. They could be extradited to the Bay Area next week.
The deaths mark the third high-profile homicide in which a stolen gun was used to kill an innocent victim in the Bay Area.
Kate Steinle was killed July 1 on Pier 14 in San Francisco with a gun stolen from the car of a federal Bureau of Land Management agent, whose vehicle was burglarized while the agent was doing business in San Francisco.