'Person of interest' taken into custody in Detroit serial killer case

Authorities are trying to determine if he’s the “serial murderer and rapist” behind the deaths of three women over the past three months


Nelson Oliveira
New York Daily News

DETROIT — Police in Detroit detained a person of interest Friday night in connection to the apparent serial killings of three women whose bodies were found naked inside vacant homes across the city.

Deangelo Kenneth Martin, who police described as a 34-year-old homeless man, has not been charged with a crime. He was found at a bus stop just hours after police released his photo and asked for the public’s help in identifying him.

Authorities are trying to determine if he’s the “serial murderer and rapist” behind the deaths of three women over the past three months. The latest victim’s decomposing body was found Wednesday, but police were still working to confirm her identity.

All three women were in their 50s and police believe they were sex workers.

The first woman, 52-year-old Nancy Harrison, was found March 19 and the second, 53-year-old Travesene Ellis, was discovered on May 24. The cause of death for Harrison was initially believed to be a drug overdose, but a medical examiner ruled two months later that she died of blunt force trauma.

Authorities are still investigating how the latest two victims died.

Earlier on Friday, officials announced a massive project to search and board up every vacant home in Detroit by the end of September as authorities fear more victims may be found. Detroit Police Chief James Craig said in a news conference that investigating murders of sex workers is “very challenging” because they are often not reported missing.

“In many cases they are invisible or they’re not connected to families,” he said Friday. “Some are illegal narcotics users... So if they go missing, generally there is no report of a missing person.”

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©2019 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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