Armed man arrested near California park where camper was shot dead in front of daughters: cops

Father shot dead in front of daughters during camping trip

California man shot and killed while on camping trip with his two young girls, 2 and 4, at Malibu Creek State Park campsite.

Southern California authorities on Wednesday arrested an armed man near the area where a father was gunned down during the summer while camping with his two young daughters in Malibu State Park.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell said investigators do not have enough information yet to link the man to the shootings at this point.

"We're not going to say … 'Yes, he is' or … 'No, he's not,'" McDonnell said. “We don’t have that information yet."

The search was prompted by a series of at least eight burglaries over the past two years in the Calabasas-Malibu area.

Authorities had been looking for someone who broke into several offices and other buildings as far back as October 2016. The investigation intensified after a theft last week in which surveillance video recorded the suspected burglar wearing a mask and armed with a rifle.

Anthony Rauda, 42, was taken into custody. Authorities said they managed to track him down Wednesday by following "fresh boot prints" left behind in a remote part of the Malibu Canyon wilderness.

Detectives noticed "a male adult wearing black clothing walking quickly who resembled the suspect in the burglary."

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, a helicopter, search-and-rescue teams and detectives led to the arrest of Anthony Rauda, 42.

Rauda was armed with a rifle at the time, authorities said. He was arrested after a "few tense moments." The rifle will undergo ballistics testing.

Rouda, who has a criminal history of burglaries and weapons violations, was being held on a parole violation as investigators worked to determine if there should be additional charges, authorities said.

Authorities appeared to increase their efforts in the burglary investigation after surveillance video from one of the burglary scenes showed a suspect armed.

Tristan Beaudette, 35, of Irvine, was shot in the head before dawn June 22 as he slept in a tent at Malibu Creek State Park with his daughters, ages 2 and 4. He had taken his daughters camping while his wife studied for an exam.

The park has been closed since.

Rauda potentially could face murder charges if the investigation links him to Beaudette's death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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