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The men are said to have been wearing electronic tags when the women were killed

The men are said to have been wearing electronic tags when the women were killed

The men are said to have been wearing electronic tags when the women were killed

Two sex offenders have been charged with murder after US authorities claimed they raped and killed four women while wearing GPS tracking monitors.

Franc Cano, 28, and Steven Dean Gordon, 45, were charged with murder with special circumstances - including lying in wait, rape and kidnapping - and forcible rape, the Orange County District Attorney's office in California said.

If convicted, the men could face a minimum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.

Prosecutors claim Cano and Gordon worked together to sexually assault and kill the California women while the men were wearing the tracking devices, following an order imposed after prior sex crimes.

The monitoring systems helped investigators link the pair to the killings earlier this year after the body of Jarrae Nykkole Estepp was found at a refuse sorting plant.

Gordon and Cano are expected to be arraigned on Friday in Orange County Superior Court.

The case has raised questions about the effectiveness of GPS devices and other forms of parole supervision in tracking offenders and deterring them from committing new crimes.

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Parole records show the men had escaped supervision together before.

In 2010, Cano cut off his GPS device and fled to Alabama, where he was arrested with Gordon. The two were arrested in Las Vegas two years later after cutting off their ankle bracelets, according to court records and state officials.

In addition to Estepp, the men are charged with killing Kianna Jackson, 20; Josephine Monique Vargas, 34; and Martha Anaya, 28, last autumn in Santa Ana.

Authorities searched for the bodies of the three women for months but gave up in August, saying it was unlikely they would ever find them because too much time had passed.

Gordon and Cano have been in custody since their arrests in April.


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