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Virginia Police have linked the murders of four women to a suspected serial killer, who they’ve dubbed the “Shopping Cart Killer” and say there could be more victims.
Anthony Robinson, 35, was arrested last month and charged with two counts of first-degree murder after the bodies of two women were found in an open lot in Harrisonburg—but now investigators have found two more bodies in Fairfax County and believe at least one of the suspected victims was last seen with Robinson before she disappeared, according to a press conference on the latest developments.
“We have a serial killer,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said. “The good thing is he’s in custody, the challenge that remains is identifying other victims.”
According to Davis, Robinson allegedly met his victims on dating sites, lured the women to motels and killed them by causing “trauma to the body.”
“After he inflicts trauma to his victims and kills them, he transports their body to their final resting place literally in a shopping cart and there’s video to that effect,” Davis said.
He accused Robinson, who has no prior criminal record, of preying on the weak.
“He preys on the vulnerable and he does unspeakable things with his victims,” he said. “It’s our collective duty and responsibility to bring justice and closure to all of our communities.”
Davis said authorities are now working backwards from the arrest to try to determine others Robinson—who lived a somewhat transient lifestyle holding various jobs in multiple cities—may have come in contact with before his arrest to determine if there are other victims in the case.
“He’s killed four already and we suspect that he has more victims,” Davis said, referring to him a “predator.”
Harrisonburg Police Chief Kelley Warner said during the press conference that Robinson first came on authorities’ radar after two female victims were discovered on Nov. 23 in an open lot in a commercial district in Harrisonburg.
“Both women were discovered within a short distance of each other dead, although their deaths took place at two separate times,” she said.
The women have been identified as 54-year-old Elizabeth Redmon and 39-year-old Tonita Lorice Smith.
Authorities linked Robinson to the deaths through cell phone records and video surveillance, she said.
Not long after, authorities from Harrisonburg Police and Fairfax County Police say they were contacted by Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department about the missing person’s case of Cheyenne Brown, whose last known contact was with Robinson before she disappeared in September.
Major Ed O’Carroll, bureau chief of the major crimes, cyber and forensics unit at the Fairfax County Police, said investigators believed that Brown had possibly been at the Moon Inn in Alexandria the night she disappeared and was captured in surveillance footage at a metro stop with Robinson.
Although an initial search of the hotel produced no evidence, investigators returned to the site Wednesday and spotted a shopping cart in a wooded area not far from the hotel. The shopping cart was next to a large plastic container, where authorities say the remains of two women were found.
Investigators believe one of the women is Brown. Authorities are still waiting for official confirmation but said family members have already identified Brown’s “very distinct tattoo” that was visible on the body.
The fourth victim remains unidentified, but Davis said investigators “do have leads on who it may be.”
“The state of decomposition was so bad that it’s going to take a bit of work,” he said.
O’Carroll said investigators are now poring through dating apps and “a lot of digital evidence” in the case to determine whether there may be other victims and are asking members of the public to come forward if they’ve had any past contact with Robinson.
“We want people to come forward that have run across him,” O’Carroll said. “Maybe they work with him, maybe they met him on a social media type site, maybe they live down the street or they just ran into him at a grocery store. There are people that have information and we’re asking them to help us bring justice for these victims.”
Robinson has yet to be formally charged in connection to the Fairfax County deaths; however, authorities said those would be coming soon.
He’s expected to appear in court on the charges related to the Harrisonburg deaths on Dec. 27, The Associated Press reports.
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