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Dead suspect may be linked to 4 slayings in Calif.

VALLEJO, Calif. — A murder suspect who led officers on a high-speed chase with his dead girlfriend in the passenger seat is a central figure in the investigation of at least four killings, authorities said Wednesday.


Efren Valdemoro, 38, was shot and killed by California Highway Patrol officers Tuesday night after refusing to drop a meat cleaver, CHP spokesman Sgt. Trent Cross said. The chase for Valdemoro, who had been wanted in the death of a 73-year-old man last weekend, ended in a Richmond strip mall.


In the passenger seat of the car, officers found the body of Valdemoro’s girlfriend, Cross said. The woman — identified by the coroner as Cindy Tran, 46 — had suffered “pretty serious head and neck injuries,” Cross said.


The confrontation with officers in the eastern San Francisco Bay area suburb happened as police in Vallejo — about 17 miles to the northeast — were investigating the grisly discovery of two decomposing bodies in a home.


One of the victims, Segundina Allen, 63, was an acquaintance of Valdemoro who had allowed him to stay in her home on occasion, but friends said she had grown fearful of him.


Allen and her longtime friend, Marcaria Smart, 60, were reported missing Saturday and hadn’t been seen since Aug. 25.