Dallas police have arrested an illegal immigrant from Kenya in connection with the serial murders of at least 12 elderly women while investigators look at 720 additional deaths.
He had previously been arrested in the death of an 81-year-old woman whose jewelry and other valuables he stole, authorities said Thursday.
The victims include:
- Phyllis Payne, 91, on May 14, 2016
- Phoebe Perry, 94, on June 5, 2016
- Norma French, 85, on Oct. 8, 2016
- Doris Gleason, 92, on Oct. 29, 2016
- Minnie Campbell, 83, on Oct. 31, 2017
- Carolyn MacPhee, 81, on Dec. 31, 2017
- Rosemary Curtis, 76, on Jan. 17, 2018
- Mary Brooks on Jan. 31, 2018
- Martha Williams, 80, on March 4, 2018
- Miriam Nelson, 81, on March 9, 2018
- Ann Conklin, 82, on March 18, 2018
Chemirmir was indicted last year in the death of:
- Lu Thi Harris, 81, on March 20, 2018
Kim Leach, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney’s office, said 46-year-old Billy Chemirmir was indicted Tuesday on six more counts of capital murder in the deaths of women ranging in age from 76 to 94.
Chemirmir, a Kenyan citizen who was living in the U.S. illegally, also is charged in nearby Collin County with two counts of attempted capital murder for similar attacks there, according to county court records.
A Collin County grand jury also returned five capital murder indictments against Chemirmir on Tuesday.
Chemirmir has been in custody since March 2018 in the death of the 81-year-old Dallas woman, Lu Thi Harris. Police in Plano were investigating Chemirmir in connection with suspicious death and suspicious person calls at a senior apartment complex in that Dallas suburb and found evidence linking him to Harris’ death in Dallas, authorities said. Plano is in Collin County.
The break in the case came when Chemirmir forced his way into the Plano apartment of a 91-year-old woman that March, telling her to “go to bed. Don’t fight me,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in Collin County. The woman was smothered with a pillow into unconsciousness and robbed. However, paramedics revived her and she told investigators that her attacker had stolen a box containing her jewelry. Police identified Chemirmir from a license plate number and were able to find and tail him days later, when they watched him throw a jewelry box into a trash bin. They traced the box to Harris, according to the affidavit.
Plano police Chief Gregory Rushin said at the time that Chemirmir used his health care experience “to his advantage in targeting and exploiting seniors, some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
Police said then that investigators were reviewing about 750 unattended deaths of elderly women for possible links.
In addition to the murder charges, Chemirmir is being held on a charge of being in the country illegally. It is not sure how the suspect entered the country illegally, through the southern border or forged passports. Immigration officials have been asked to review his case to determine his point of entry and follow-up on possible deaths in that region.