UPDATE (1:40 PM): Second Victim Identified As 20 YO UCD Student, DHS Grad

Karim Abou Najm

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – The Davis Police are reporting another murder.

1:40 Update – Victim Identified

On April 30, 2023, the Yolo County Coroner’s Office positively identified the victim of the violent attack that occurred at Sycamore Park as Karim Abou Najm, a 20-year-old UC Davis student and graduate of Davis High School. The Davis Police Department is actively investigating this case as a homicide. Despite conducting an exhaustive search of the area surrounding the park for the suspect with the support of other Yolo County law enforcement agencies using canines and drones, the suspect has not yet been located. The suspect is described as a light-skinned male, possibly Hispanic, 5’-7” to 5’-8” tall, 19-23 years of age, with long curly loose hair. He was last seen wearing a light-colored T-shirt, and a button-up shirt over it, and riding a men’s bike with straight handlebars.

This is the second fatal stabbing occurring in Davis in the last 4 days. Although there are common factors between these two brutal crimes, such as the brutal nature of the crimes and that the suspect likely used a knife, there are no known connections between the victims; investigators are still determining whether the incidents are linked. The Davis Police Department is working closely with all county law enforcement partners, including the FBI and the California Department of Justice, to support our ongoing investigation.

The Davis Police Department elected to send out safety notifications to the public this morning to avoid contamination of the scene and surrounding areas as well as to avoid tipping off the suspect, allowing time for the destruction of evidence. Officers continue to follow up and several tips that have been received which have resulted in arrests made on unrelated charges or outstanding warrants, although none of these individuals have been linked to the murders.

One person of interest was contacted by officers within 5 blocks of the crime scene who closely matched the suspect description. Physical evidence was collected and a search warrant was issued for a location in Davis that the subject is associated with. The subject was later booked at the Yolo County Jail for an outstanding warrant issued out of Placer County for public intoxication and resisting arrest.

The Department understands the uncertainty, fear and panic that is arising in the community. A substantial number of extra officers have been deployed to conduct directed patrols around schools and parks, and to ensure an enhanced public safety presence throughout the City. At this time, it is strongly recommended that the community remain vigilant, be aware of your surroundings, and call the Davis Police Department if anyone acting violent, suspicious or matching the description provided is seen.


Update (noon): Statement by Davis City Council

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the homicide victim near Sycamore Park. This incident has been overwhelming on many levels. This is the second homicide to occur in our community in the last week and many of us are concerned, scared and angry. The safety of our community has been violated and two individuals have lost their lives.

We know that emotions are high. Now is not the time for panic or speculation. Now is the time for unity and vigilance. The Davis Police Department is leading the investigation and is engaged with law enforcement and investigators from across the region, including the FBI, to solve these crimes as quickly as possible.

For the community, we ask that you be aware of your surroundings and look out for yourself and your friends, family and neighbors. If you see something that appears odd or out of place, report it. You may also see more police presence and patrols in the community.

Let’s channel our energy by cooperating as best we can in the investigation and supporting our community and those who lost loved ones.

Mayor Will Arnold

Vice Mayor Josh Chapman

Councilmember Bapu Vaitla

Councilmember Gloria Partida


Original police release:

At approximately 9:14 pm on April 29, 2023, a resident reported hearing what sounded like a disturbance in Sycamore Park near the area of Sycamore Lane and Colby Drive. The resident went outside to investigate, found a male adult with what appeared to be multiple stab wounds, and immediately called 911. Davis Police Department and Fire Department responded to the scene and declared the victim deceased upon arrival. The victim is a male adult in his early 20s.

The Davis Police Department, with the support of other Yolo County law enforcement agencies, searched the area for the suspect who is described as a light-skinned male, possibly Hispanic, 5’-7” to 5’-8” tall, 19-23 years of age, with long curly loose hair. He was last seen wearing a white hat, a light-colored T-shirt, and a button-up shirt over it, and riding a men’s bike with straight handlebars.  The suspect has not been located.

This is the second fatal stabbing occurring in Davis in the last 4 days. Investigators are still determining whether the incidents are linked. At this time, we do strongly recommend the community remain vigilant, be aware of their surroundings, and call the Davis Police Department if they see anyone matching the description provided or anyone acting suspiciously.

If you were in the area of Sycamore Park during the hours of 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm on April 29th, or if you have surveillance cameras that face towards the park or in the area of Sycamore Lane, please call the Davis Police Department at 530-747-5400 or email policeweb@cityofdavis.org

If you have any information regarding this crime and you would like to remain anonymous, you can call our tip line at 530-747-5460

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for