Man found dead outside Orange County church

Vivian Chow


Police are investigating after a man was found dead outside a Westminster church on Friday.

The victim was identified as Stephen “Steve” Smallwood, 62, according to the Westminster Police Department.

On Jan. 5, officers responded to reports of an unresponsive man on the 13500 block of Goldenwest Street at around 3:38 p.m.

Arriving officers found Smallwood lying on the ground with “obvious signs of trauma consistent with a homicide,” police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. No suspects were found at the time. 

Smallwood had previously resided in Westminster and became homeless around 2020. The last time he was spotted by witnesses was on Jan. 4, police said.

From left: Stephen “Steve” Smallwood, 62, in photos from 2022 and 2023. (Westminster Police Department)

“We are hoping by releasing the victim’s photo to the media witnesses will come forward and assist us in this case,” said Cameron Knauerhaze, Deputy Chief of Police. “Smallwood was known to frequent the area where he was located, as well as, the United States Post Office located at 13761Goldenwest Street.”

The motive behind his murder remains unclear as investigators work to track down a suspect.

Anyone with information is urged to call Westminster police detective Jonathan Figueroa at 714-548-3783.

Anonymous tips can be provided to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1- 855-TIP-OCCS or online at

Vivian Chow Local News,News,Orange County,westminster,westminster police department

2024-01-10 03:46:08 , westminster | KTLA

Leave a comment