Orange County man convicted of killing mother as a teen walks away from halfway house

Authorities are searching for a 20-year-old convicted killer who failed to report to a halfway house in Santa Ana, allegedly violating the terms of his probation.

Ike Souzer is an "extremely dangerous and violent criminal" who was released from police custody on Wednesday after serving a jail term for a vandalism offense, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer's office said in a news release. According to the terms of his probation, Souzer is required to check in regularly with the Project Kinship halfway house in Santa Ana, but he failed to return to the house Wednesday night.

He also has not reported to his probation officer, as required under the terms of his release from police custody, authorities said.

Family and friends described Souzer as autistic.

In 2017, his mother, Barbara Scheuer-Souzer posted fliers on Facebook asking for the public's help to find her son, who she said had run away. A few weeks later, Souzer fatally stabbed his mother outside their Garden Grove home, according to police.

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With her dying breath, Scheuer-Souzer told police that her son stabbed her. He was arrested a short time later not far from his home, authorities said, and was eventually convicted of voluntary manslaughter. According to the Orange County Register, Souzer's attorney argued that the killing was done in self-defense, and that Souzer had experienced years of "extreme abuse."

Souzer has escaped from custody multiple times since his mother's death.

In April 2019, a then-15-year-old Souzer escaped from an Orange County juvenille hall, where he had attacked correction officers, authorities said.

In October 2023, Souzer was convicted of making a shiv while in a county jail. The judge in the case prioritized giving Souzer the services he needed to reintegrate into society as an adult, sentencing him to one year in prison and two on "mandatory supervision" by probation officers, the Orange County Register reported.

Most recently, Souzer was sentenced to 90 days in jail for vandalism, but he was released from police custody on Wednesday, according to the district attorney's office.

Souzer did not return to the Santa Ana halfway house after first checking in, and never reported to his probation officer, the district attorney's office said.

This marks the second time Souzer failed to report back to the same halfway house, according to authorities. In 2022, Souzer was released from jail with an electronic monitor and was later found by police on Easter Sunday at a homeless encampment in Anaheim.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.