A suspected Texan serial killer, who has now officially been charged with the murder of seven elderly women and is expected to be charged with 12, is accused of targeting the victims by posing as a maintenance worker.
Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir was first eyed as a possible attacker last March when he was accused of trying to smother a 91-year-old woman to death, The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth reported. But before police could even arrest him in connection with that alleged incident, “they observed him walk to a dumpster and toss unknown items in the dumpster. [...] In the dumpster officers found a jewelry box containing jewelry and a name. Officers were able to associate the name found in the jewelry box to an address in the city of Dallas,” according to a press release posted on the Dallas Police Department’s website.
That jewelry box led them to the body of an entirely different woman than the 91-year-old Chemirmir was accused of trying to kill: Lu Thi Harris, 81. She had been murdered, according to police.
Chemirmir was charged with Harris’ murder last year.
After his 2018 arrest, police announced that they would start combing through 750 unattended deaths of elderly women in four North Texas cities to see if Chemirmir can possibly be linked to any of them, according to The Star-Telegram.
Authorities linked him to six more cases. This week Chemirmir was indicted on capital murder charges for the deaths of Norma French, Phoebe Perry, Phyllis Payne, Rosemary Curtis, Mary Brooks and Doris Gleason, KXAS-TV in Fort Worth reports. All the women died in 2016 and 2018 and like Harris, Chemirmir is accused of killing them to take their jewelry or money. He’s accused of killing them through smothering or strangling and gaining access to them by posing as both a maintenance man and by exploiting his former senior aide job.
“Suspect Chemirmir has worked as a healthcare worker and has a history of impersonating maintenance personnel at a retirement community in Dallas,” Plano Chief of Police Gregory Rushin said a press conference held last March. “Chemirmir uses his healthcare experience to his advantage in targeting and exploiting seniors.”
It's not clear where Chemirmir worked as a healthcare worker.
Initially, the victims are believed to have died of natural causes. Investigators allegedly found jewelry, cell phones and other victims’ belongings in Chemirmir’s apartment when it was searched last year, WFAA in Dallas reports.
There may be more victims too. Police reportedly anticipate five additional capital murder charges on top of the other seven, KXAS-TV reports. If charged with the additional anticipated charges, that would up Chemirmir’s alleged body count up to 12.
Chemirmir’s bail is now set at more than $9 million. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
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