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Authorities charge man with 7 Iowa homicides

Moss under police escort on Friday
Moss under police escort on Friday  

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNN) -- An Iowa man was charged Friday with seven counts of first-degree homicide and one count of theft in connection with the deaths of two adults and five children, Sioux City police said.

Police arrested Adam Matthew Moss, 23, on Friday on first-degree theft charges -- specifically, for allegedly stealing an automobile belonging to Ronald Earl Fish, one of the victims. He will be arraigned on all counts Saturday morning in state court.

On Thursday night, a baby-sitter found Laticia Aguilar and her five children -- ages 6 to 12 -- dead in a home in the western part of Sioux City.

At about the same time, an employee of Fish's found his body in the entryway of a home on the city's north side.

An Iowa police chief tells reporters a man is in custody for questioning in seven slayings (August 31)

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"This is one of the most heinous, brutal homicide (scenes) that I've probably ever witnessed," said Chief Joe Frisbie, a 34-year veteran of the Sioux City police force. "I won't be able to tell you how the homicide took place or what instruments were used or that sort of thing because that's going to be very important investigative information in the very near future."

"There's no question in our mind that we have the right person," he added.

Moss and Aguilar, 31, worked together at Smurfit-Stone Container Co. and had a "boy-girl relationship," according to Frisbie. The chief said Moss had known Fish since 1995.

"The only common denominator that there's even been between two locations and these two sets of victims had been the suspect," Frisbie said.

Moss was charged nine days ago with domestic violence for allegedly assaulting his brother, who also received a protection order, according to court records. Hours before the bodies were discovered Thursday, Moss missed a scheduled court appearance.

Moss has a long history of run-ins with Sioux City police, the court records indicate. He faced at least 25 charges as a juvenile, ranging from alcohol possession to speeding. As an adult, he was charged with second-degree robbery, theft, burglary and failure to pay child support.

CNN Chicago Bureau Chief Jeff Flock contributed to this report.

• Seven dead in two Iowa homicides
August 31, 2001

• Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Home Page
• Woodbury County, Iowa

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