One day after arresting a suspect in the case, Orange County authorities on Friday released the names of the man and two women who were killed in an upscale neighborhood of Newport Beach.
The victims were identified as 64-year-old Richard Nicholson of Newport Beach, 61-year-old Kim Nicholson of Newport Beach, and 57-year-old Maria Morse of Anaheim, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Neighbors identified the Nicholsons as the parents of the suspect, 27-year-old Camden Burton Nicholson, who has been arrested on suspicion of homicide.
Morse was the couple's housekeeper, according to neighbors.
Officers initially made contact with the son at the emergency room of a hospital in Irvine just before 9 p.m. Wednesday. That prompted a welfare check at 36 Palazzo, where the three victims were found slain, according to the Newport Beach Police Department.
Authorities still have not revealed how they were killed.
The triple homicide has left residents of the upscale gated community of Bonita Canyon stunned.
"I can't imagine taking my walks and, you know, not stopping and talking to them," said neighbor Leslie Seigel. "It's too surreal right now."
Seigel told KTLA on Thursday night that her family moved there around the same time as the Nicholsons.
"We watched our children grow up together, saw each other at neighborhood functions, things like that. Just wonderful people," she said. “I can’t remember a negative thing about them.”
Richard Nicholson had a long history in the clinical laboratory industry and previously served as president of the California Clinical Laboratory Association, said Michael Arnold, the group's executive director.
In recent years, he worked as a consultant to what is now known as WestPac Labs, said Staton Shed, the company's interim president.
The Nicholsons loved the community, Scott Seigel recalled, describing the couple as "kind."
"You don’t know what lies beneath people and their families, what goes on," he told KTLA. “The individual that did this struggled terribly and did something horrific. ... It’s just so tragic.”
Camden Nicholson attended the University of Utah in fall 2009, spring 2010 and fall 2013, but did not receive a degree, according to Chris Nelson, communications director for the school.
He also played on the university golf team in fall 2009, Nelson said.
Nicholson has been charged with three counts of murder and an enhancement alleging multiple murders. He appeared in court Friday but his arraignment was continued to March 8.
He is being held without bail, inmate records showed.