The Westminster Police Department is currently investigating a disturbing incident that occurred last Friday, where a man was found deceased outside a local church. The man was later identified as 62-year-old Stephen “Steve” Smallwood.
Discovery of the Victim
On the 5th of January, police officers were summoned to the scene after receiving reports of an unresponsive male on the 13500 block of Goldenwest Street. The call came in around 3:38 p.m., causing officers to rush to the scene.
Upon arrival, they discovered Smallwood lying lifeless on the ground. The nature of his injuries suggested a violent confrontation, leading officers to believe that his death was not accidental, but rather, a result of a homicide.
Despite immediate medical assessment, Smallwood was pronounced dead at the scene. The immediate search for potential suspects turned up empty, leaving investigators with a puzzling case to solve.
Background of the Victim
Smallwood, who had formerly been a resident of Westminster, had been living a homeless lifestyle since around 2020. The last time anyone reported seeing him was on January 4th, a day before his life was tragically cut short.
Appeal to the Public
Cameron Knauerhaze, Deputy Chief of Police, released Smallwood’s photo to the media with the hope that it may encourage potential witnesses to come forward. “Smallwood was known to frequent the area where he was found, as well as the United States Post Office located at 13761Goldenwest Street,” Knauerhaze explained, adding urgency to the public appeal.
The reasons behind Smallwood’s murder remain shrouded in mystery, with investigators tirelessly working to track down a suspect and bring justice to this tragic case.
How to assist with information
Anyone with information that could be helpful to the investigation is strongly encouraged to contact Westminster police detective Jonathan Figueroa at 714-548-3783. Individuals who wish to remain anonymous can provide tips to Orange County Crime Stoppers either by calling 1- 855-TIP-OCCS or online at occrimestoppers.org.