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Police search for suspect in Calif slayings

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Police sought a motive and a suspect Monday in the slayings of four people who were found in the yard of a suburban Southern California home that apparently served as an unlicensed boarding house.

A 911 call led police to the large house in Northridge around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, where they discovered the bodies on a side yard of the property, police said. Three of the bodies were found face-down and appeared to have been shot at close range.

The dead were two women in their mid-20s, a man in his mid-30s and another man in his late-40s, Capt. William Hayes said. Their names were not released.

Police believe at least some of the victims lived at the residence and may have been related.

Investigators questioned several people who were on the property at the time of the shooting, but no one has been detained or arrested. Authorities don't have a description of the suspect and no weapon was found at the scene.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who represents the area, said the house was split into several units for rent. He said at least a dozen people lived in the house, which contained several bedrooms, kitchenettes and mattresses on the floor.

“It appears from the nature of things that this was an unlicensed boarding facility,” Englander said from the crime scene. He noted that one bedroom was only accessible through a window.

Police added they hadn't response calls from the house lately.

“This wasn't a problem location for us in general,” said police Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

The house in the San Fernando Valley was on street lined with homes, schools and places of worship.

“This is a very safe neighborhood. This type of thing doesn't normally happen here,” Englander said.

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