Costa Mesa is a vibrant Orange County city with a population of 110,000 people and growing. Costa Mesa is home to the annual Orange County Fair and is a retail, dining, and entertainment destination in the area. The community is home to a disparate population that includes everything from young families to retired people. It is considered a comfortable community in which neighbors still get to know and do spend time with one another.

Life in Costa Mesa flowed along smoothly, with nary a ripple in the current, until a bizarre and complicated murder scheme shocked the community to its core. A pair of murders in Costa Mesa were orchestrated by a community theatre performer, a man named Daniel Patrick Wozniak, took a turn from the stage and engaged in conduct that is the stuff of scripts and screenplays.

As will be discussed briefly in a moment, Wozniak embarked on a crime spree that resulted in the grisly deaths of two individuals. The events surrounding this stage performer underscore the reality that even in a relatively peaceful community like Costa Mesa, crime occurs – and that sometimes includes violence and brutality that leaves a myriad of challenges in its wake. These seemingly overwhelming challenges include addressing the matter of biohazard cleanup when a traumatic or violent death occurs.

Murders by the Costa Mesa Thespian

As mentioned, the murders committed by the Costa Mesa community theatre actor are the stuff of a script or screenplay. Wozniak was deep in debt, simultaneously facing eviction and an upcoming wedding to his girlfriend. In order to pay his debts, Wozniak devised a scheme whereby he would kill his neighbor and access the man’s bank account to withdraw money to deal with his own financial obligations.

Wozniak killed his neighbor at a nearby military base. He then dismembered the victim’s body.

In order to further conceal his murderous efforts, Wozniak enticed a friend of the first victim over to that deceased man’s apartment in Costa Mesa. When this friend arrived at the apartment, Wozniak shot her and made it appear that his first murder victim committed that crime. Wozniak’s goal was to frame the initial murder victim for the second killing and then leave people to conclude that the deceased man had fled the jurisdiction. In the aftermath of all of this, Wozniak used the deceased man’s bank account to further the scheme to pay down debt and fund his wedding and honeymoon.

Wozniak avoided arrest for a period of time but eventually was arrested. He confessed, ending up being convicted, and was sentenced to death. He is sitting on California’s death row at this time.

The Realities of Biohazard Cleanup in Costa Mesa

In the aftermath of violent death, including homicide or certain types of suicides, family members of the deceased person are left having to address addressing cleanup. The scene of a homicide or suicide can be incomprehensible in so many ways. Describing the scene as gruesome can prove to be a significant understatement.

Following a suspected homicide or suicide, the Costa Mesa Police Department and the Orange County Coroner come to the scene and conduct a comprehensive investigation. The Coroner removes the body. What does not happen is that these agencies do not clean up the scene. This is the responsibility of the homeowner or surviving family members.

People who’ve lost a loved one as the result of a violent homicide or suicide need not add to their emotional trauma by undertaking cleanup of this nature without professional biohazard cleanup in Costa Mesa assistance. Not only can facing the prospect of a post-homicide or post-suicide cleanup be unbearable, but the process of undertaking this type of cleaning is also fraught with risk. Any time blood and other bodily fluids are encountered, people are exposed to the prospect of possible infection by dangerous bloodborne pathogens like:

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • MRSA

A skilled, compassionate, experienced biohazard cleanup in Costa Mesa professional has the background, tools, equipment, and resources necessary to safely and thoroughly remediate the aftermath of traumatic or violent death in a home or business.

Professional Mental Health Support Following a Traumatic Loss

As is the case with physically cleaning up in the aftermath of the violent death of a loved one, a survivor of this type of loss need not emotionally suffer alone either. There are grief and bereavement therapists in Costa Mesa that with people in coming to terms with the emotional fallout associated with the homicide or suicide of a loved one. These professionals include:

Mental Health Association of Orange County – Costa Mesa Center

420 West 19th Street
Costa Mesa, California 92626
(714) 597-7624

Cognitive Therapy – Orange County

151 Kalmus Drive, Suite B-220
Costa Mesa, California 92626  

Photo Courtesy of Schristia.

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