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Law enforcement in Florida this week identified a man who died in a 2005 plane crash as the suspected serial killer responsible for brutally killing three women in South Florida at the turn of the millennium.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that Brazilian national Roberto Wagner Fernandes is responsible for the murders of Kimberly Dietz-Livesey, Sia Demas and Jessica Good. The three women were killed within a 14-month period in 2000 and 2001.
The department stated in a press release that Dietz-Livesey’s body was discovered inside a suitcase along a roadway in Cooper City in June of 2000. Several weeks later, Demas’ remains were found stuffed in a duffel bag near Dania Beach. In August of 2001 Good’s remains were found floating in Miami"s Biscayne Bay.
“The three cases shared similar fact patterns, and as detectives from BSO and Miami Police worked together, clues began to emerge," the DNA evidence collected from all three crimes pointed to one as yet unknown culprit. Also, fingerprints from the evidence collected at two crime scenes were a match. But the identity of the killer remained a mystery.”
But soon suspicion fell on Fernandes, a Brazilian citizen who lived in Miami in the late 1990s. Investigators say he returned to Brazil after Good's killing.
In 2011, fingerprints taken from Fernandes following his wife’s death matched the fingerprints from the crime scenes.
Broward Sheriff’s Office Detective Zack Scott said that Fernandes was accused of killing his wife in Brazil in 1996 but was acquitted. He was also a suspect in "several investigations in Brazil, as well," Scott said.
Investigators traveled to Brazil in 2011 hoping to talk to Fernandes only to learn that he possibly died in a plane crash there in 2005 while headed to Paraguay.
As Broward County investigators noted during Tuesday’s press conference, they did not trust that he died in the plane crash; detectives thought he may have faked his own death and wanted to exhume Fernandes’ body to determine if he truly was dead.
It took nearly a decade but officials have finally confirmed that he is in fact dead and the killer.
Fernandes' grave was opened during late 2020 and early 2021 and his remains were found inside. Investigators were able to link his DNA profile to the suspect profile collected from the crime scenes of Dietz-Livesey, Demas and Good.
"Knowing his last minutes on Earth were probably full of terror makes me feel a little better, but at least today we can provide answers to the families as far as what happened to their loved ones and the person who was responsible," Scott said on Tuesday.
Officials believe Fernandes may be responsible for other murders in the United States. Anyone with information is urged to call 954-321-4214.
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