Santa Barbara authorities announced they have arrested a homeless man for the murder of another transient last week on the Eastside.

Enson Junior Lopez
Ian Justin O’Brien Nichols

Police say Enson Lopez, 32, violently killed Ian Nicholas, 40, sometime late Thursday night or early Friday morning. Nicholas’s bloody body was found just before 7 a.m. on Friday in an alcove of a Marborg Industries building on the 100 block of Quarantina Street. Officials have not disclosed how he was killed.

An investigation revealed that the two men had quarreled multiple times last Thursday. Lopez was tracked down and located at about 1:20 p.m. on Friday in the 800 block of Cacique Street—which is just around the corner from the murder scene—and he was arrested for murder. He’s being held in County Jail on $1 million bail.

Located between Casa Esperanza Homeless Center and the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, the area is a known hangout for homeless people, but according to police records, officers have not responded to the area for many calls in the last year.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 897-2414.


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