Unemployed truck driver Amaya, 48 -- shot dead by a customer during a botched attempted robbery at an Orland Park tanning salon Saturday evening -- is already suspected of the Oct. 5 honeybee shootings in rural Will County and Lake County, Ind.
The newspaper reported that the discovery of a prostitute’s handbag at his home in Rankin -- 107 miles south of Chicago and 93 miles from the L.A. Tan salon where he died -- gives new insight into his extensive movements on his final day, and raises questions about what other crimes he might be linked to.
The handbag theft was reported to Chicago Police on Saturday morning by the victim, who has a history of prostitution arrests, the source said. She told officers a man approached her on the 3100 block of West Chicago in Humboldt Park at 9 a.m. Saturday and told her to "give it up," before snatching the bag and taking off in a beat-up pick up truck.
For the bag to have ended up at Amaya’s house, he likely spent several hours driving all the way home and then back to Orland Park by 6:30 p.m. -- the time he died.
Ballistic tests showed the .38 caliber pistol he used in the attempted hold-up at the L.A. Tan salon is the same weapon that killed Rolando Alonso and wounded two others during a bi-state shooting spree in October, published reports stated, citing law enforcement sources.
Amaya was killed with that pistol when one of his robbery victims -- Jason McDaniel -- grabbed the gun and shot Amaya twice as they struggled over the weapon.
Investigators from Will County and from Lake County, Ind., searched Amaya’s home in the isolated, downstate hamlet of Rankin on Monday. Neighbors described Amaya as a loner who had little contact with others in the tight-knit community.
Construction worker Rolando Alonso, 45, was killed Oct. 5 in rural Will County near Beecher. Another man working with Alonso, 19-year-old Joshua Garza, was critically wounded when he was shot in his right eye.
The gunman crossed into Indiana and less than an hour later shot 64-year-old farmer Keith Dahl after first chatting with him about raising honeybees.
A police officer in south suburban Lynwood initially was arrested, but a murder charge filed against him was quickly dropped when forensic evidence from his personal computer showed the officer was home when the shootings occurred.