An arrest has been made in what has been referred to as the Los Angeles Grim Reaper Serial Killer case. The suspect has been charged with 10 counts of murder.Â
Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, was arrested today and he faces an additional count of attempted murder, officials said.Â
The case was named the "Grim Sleeper" case because the killerÂ took long breaks between attacks. He is believed to be responsible for at least 11 deaths since 1985 in south Los Angeles. The killer targeted black women, some who were working as prostitutes,Â and he always usedÂ the same small caliber weapon.
Margaret Prescod founded the Black Coalition Fighting Black Serial Murders and worked heavily with the families of the victims in the case. She Â told a CNN sreporter that she spoke with the Grim Sleeper Task Force who informed her Wednesday that an arrest had been made.
Prescod said Detective Dennis Kilcoyne, head of the task force, told her that unlike a previous arrest in the case that turned out to be the wrong person, he wasÂ quite certainÂ they had gotten their man this time.
"He told me that what they have is very solid," Prescod said.
If Franklin turns out to be the Grim Sleeper, "it would be a huge relief, not only for the [victims' families], but for the entire community that remained at threat," Prescod said.
"We are mortified that it has taken this long to make an arrest but nevertheless, one is always glad when there is a breakthrough and we can only hope right now that it is a solid breakthrough."
Prescod told the CNN reporter that she has met with victims' family members, who asked her many questions aboutÂ Franklin's arrest. Family members wereÂ instructed not to give any details about the case or speak to the media until officials hold a press conference on Thursday.
Lonnie David Franklin will be arraigned in court on Thursday morning.
I hope that an arrest in this case will bring closure to the ten surviving families of these victims. It has to be horrific to lose a loved one in this manner, but even worse knowing the killer is still at large.
Watch this Associated Press video describing the Grim Sleeper Serial Killings.