A serial killer who raped and strangled at least seven women was found strangled to death in a California state prison, officials announced Wednesday.
Roger Reece Kibbe, 81, nicknamed the “I-5 Strangler” in the 1970s and 1980s, was found dead in his cell Sunday at Mule Creek State Prison, located southeast of Sacramento, KSWB reported.
Kibbe’s 40-year-old cellmate was standing nearby.
An autopsy showed the 81-year-old had been strangled, and the Amador County Sheriff’s Office is ruling the death a homicide.
Kibbe was initially sentenced to 25 years to life in May 1991 for murdering a 17-year-old Seattle runaway. He pleaded guilty to six additional killings going back to 1977 after DNA evidence linked the killings to him.
A judge sentenced Kibbe to six additional life sentences for those murders.
Authorities said they kept trying to prove he was responsible for additional deaths, with investigators secretly taking him on field trips from prison in the hopes he would uncover the whereabouts of more victims, according to the Associated Press.
Kibbe was a suburban Sacramento furniture maker whose brother worked in law enforcement.
No charges have been filed in his death.
Last August, the Californian Golden State serial killer was sentenced to life in prison without parole.