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Co-workers remember Newhall stabbing victim

Officials working on sketch of attacker

Posted: December 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Franco Olea is seen in a high school yearbook photo.

 

While homicide detectives Thursday were still putting together a sketch of the man who killed Franco Olea, friends were struggling with the loss of a funny, friendly, easy-going guy.

Olea, 28, of 15th Street in New-hall, was stabbed to death early Sunday morning in an apparent struggle with a burglar.

The William S. Hart High School graduate, class of 2003, was a well-loved “funny” guy whose humor and good nature will be missed, according to friends.

“He was a good man,” said Juels Galvez, who worked with Olea at the Taco Bell on Bouquet Canyon Road near Cinema Drive.

“We both wear glasses, so every time they got fogged up or slipped down our nose, he would say something or do something and make me laugh.”

On Sunday, shortly after 2:20 a.m., Olea encountered a burglar in front of his home between Chestnut and Walnut streets, said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to reports of a burglary after someone reacted to hearing a car alarm in front of Olea’s house.

Olea was found stabbed on the driveway and taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The official manner and cause of his death has not yet been disclosed by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department, a spokesman said Thursday.

“An examination of his body is scheduled for today,” said department spokesman Lt. Fred Corral.

Friends, meanwhile, say they will miss the man who made them laugh and made them smile.

“He was a hardworking guy; he was a good guy,” said Olea’s boss, Jesse, who hired him about four years ago.

Although Olea hadn’t settled on what he wanted to pursue in life, friends and coworkers suspected he would follow up on his love of rapping.

“I’m not too sure what he wanted to do, but he was good at rapping,” Galvez said.

“What I’m going to miss is working at nights with him,” he said. “When it got busy and there was a big rush on, he would just say something and start everybody laughing.”

Homicide detectives, meanwhile, continue to work on compiling an artist’s sketch of Olea’s killer, Corina said.

jholt@signalscv.com

661-287-5527

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