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CALIFORNIA MAN SLAIN IN HIS S.L. MOTEL ROOM

April 1995 may well become Salt Lake City's deadliest month on record.

Detectives are investigating yet another slaying, the state capital's seventh since Easter.A maid at Motel 6, 176 W. 600 South, called police Wednesday afternoon after she found a man face-down in an inch-deep pool of blood. The victim was identified at David Bender, 51, of Rio Vista, Calif. He was in town on business as a sales representative for a national company.

Police said he was severely beaten and stabbed; he apparently bled to death on the room's bathroom floor.

"It appears that his room was also ransacked, like somebody was looking for something. It could be a robbery, but the motive is really a mystery at this point," said Lt. Norman Thompson.

Police are looking for the man's car, which may have been taken by the killer. It is a gray 1992 Ford Crown Victoria, plate number 3ABG521, and was last seen parked in front of the room at sunset Tuesday.

Thompson said the room also showed signs of a fight, but because of its location away from other rooms, no one heard any fracas.

A guest staying in a neighboring room recalled the victim being "the kind of guy who looks like he kept to himself."

The slaying is the latest in a series of deaths this month, which was already marred by six violent home invasions and shootings in the city.

"Who knows what causes it . . . anybody's guess is as good as mine," Thompson said.

At this time last year, seven people were listed as victims of homicides, three in April. Records of 1993 showed two slayings for the month, as did homicide lists for 1992.

Police have made no arrests in any of the cases so far this month but say they are close to jailing a suspect in the shooting of a Los Angeles entertainer at Centro Civico Mexicano on April 2.

They also have good leads on the death of a Mexican national who was found wrapped in a blanket in a shallow pond last week, Thompson said. The man was shot several times in the head. Police arrested suspects in Malad, Idaho, a few days later but believe none of the men is the killer.