Before arrest, police had serial killer suspect in custody

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) — Police had suspected serial killer Elias Abuelazam in custody twice in the past month, both within hours of when stabbings were reported, but say he hadn’t been linked to the bloody attacks at the time.Abuelazam, suspected of slashing victims in three states and killing five of them, was arrested last Sunday on a traffic charge and July 29 for giving alcohol to a minor, according to authorities and court documents. He was released both times.

After his August 5 traffic stop in Arlington, Virginia, police learned he had an outstanding warrant for assault and was arrested. They found a knife and hammer in his car — both weapons authorities think were used during a string of knifings in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio.One of those attacks happened in Virginia just hours after Abuelazam was released last week.Police say he had not been linked to the stabbings, which began in May and continued until last weekend, at the time of the arrests. Family members of the victims told CNN that they don’t blame officials for not holding him.

Abuelazam, an Israeli citizen living legally in the United States, was arrested Wednesday night at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. He was trying to board a flight to Israel when he was taken into custody, police said.Most of Abuelazam’s suspected victims were black. While federal officials were saying late Thursday that it was too soon to give a motive, Leesburg Police Chief Joseph… >>>

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