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Reports: Slaying Suspect Was Drug User

Friends say Jonathan Chacon, who is accused of killing Vickie and Courtney Bergman, is a heavy drug user who was sometimes volatile.

More details are emerging about Jonathan Chacon, who is accused of killing two women in their North Redondo Beach apartment early Tuesday morning.

Police believe Chacon, 23, killed Vicki Bergman, 59, and her daughter Courtney, 19, then fled to Baja California, leaving his dented black Mustang convertible parked near Interstate 5 in Mission Viejo. He was taken into custody early Wednesday morning and turned over to the , where he was booked on two counts of murder.

A coworker of Vicki Bergman's discovered the bodies at around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Police Lt. Joe Hoffman told Patch that once officers released information about Chacon on Tuesday afternoon, tips came pouring in. He estimated that police received more than 50 tips with "a lot of useful information," ranging from sightings of Chacon to the identities of his acquaintances to where he might have been headed.

A tip that came in at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday eventually led authorities to a hotel in Rosarito Beach, where Chacon was arrested.

The suspect's convertible is being held as evidence by the Police Department.

"We believe the vehicle could possibly contain evidence," Hoffman said. "It's another piece of the puzzle that we need to help put the case together."

Police have not revealed the cause of death, though sources have said a knife was used. Blood was found on the street outside the home, and the scene inside the house was described as "gruesome" by some.

"We don't want to let any information out that's so specific to the crime that it could compromise our investigation," Hoffman said.

Hoffman mentioned "domestic issues" as a possible motive for the killings. He said the Chacon and Courtney Bergman had been in a relationship.

As of Wednesday afternoon, officers still did not know why Chacon fled to Mexico or how he got there.

"We're not exactly sure," Hoffman said. "We don't know if he got somebody to drive him to Mexico and parked his car (in Mission Viejo)."

Nevertheless, Hoffman told the Daily Breeze that there were no indications that Chacon knew anyone in Mexico.

"I truly feel that once he crossed the border, he thought he was going to escape capture," Hoffman told the Breeze. "This is a perfect example of the border not creating a barrier of protection for criminals who think they can flee to Mexico and escape capture."

Because Chacon is a United States citizen with a U.S. passport, he was quickly extradited.

According to the Breeze, Chacon pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor and resisting arrest in 2008. He was also arrested on battery charges during the same year, but the charges were dismissed.

According to police, Chacon has a grim reaper and a nautical star tattooed on his right upper arm, the word "death" on his left forearm and the word "distraught" on his chest.

Chacon, a 2007 graduate of 's independent study program, also had 2-year-old son with another woman, friends said.

People who know Chacon told Breeze reporter Douglas Morino that Chacon was a heavy drug user, who sampled LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, cocaine and bath salts.

"He was volatile, but I never thought he was capable of this," Brett Kedney told the Breeze.

Chacon is being held in Redondo Beach on $2 million bail, and he is expected to be arraigned Friday morning. If convicted on both counts of murder, he would be eligible for the death penalty.

These are the second and third homicides to rattle Redondo Beach residents in less than a week. Police believe , Margaret Ann "Peggy" Duffy Goldberg, before fleeing to Utah. on Interstate 15 with state troopers.

Police do not believe the two incidents are related.

Previously:

Diane Naletich March 01, 2012 at 02:48 PM
The more info. that becomes available about this case - the worst it becomes... This is so tragic - beyond words...
Jennifer Cabezas March 01, 2012 at 03:05 PM
So sorry to read about such tragedies. Praying for the family and friends. Thanks Patch for keeping us updated.
Elle Hall March 02, 2012 at 02:01 AM
This was my aunt & my little cousin. This is devastating for our family Thank you for the prayers. No one EVER thinks it can be YOUR family. Our family is just devastated by this! RIP Aunt Vicki & little Court! We all love you! Lelanea McGee-Hall & family
Suzanne March 02, 2012 at 03:31 AM
knew Courtney from Cheesecake Factory. She was such a kind girl. She had expressed that she was in a volatile relationship to some of us and we urged her to leave him. If anyone takes anything from this tragedy, know that it is always important to leave when abuse is happening period. She had mentioned plans of going to Florida to get away from him at the end of the month, I am wondering if he found out. Courtney, rest in peace, you were loved.
Nicolette Costa March 03, 2012 at 02:42 AM
hi elle hall this is one of courtney and vicki bergmans close friends we have been preparing a ceremonial fundraiser for this family and it would be great if you could contact us because we have been trying to get in contact with family members. please if you can like this link on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memory-Lane-with-Courtney-Vicki-Bergman/378507208843414 thankyou.

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