A 46-year-old illegal immigrant is facing charges related to the deaths of 12 elderly women in the Dallas, Texas, area over the past three years.
Billy Chemirmir was recently indicted in the deaths of 11 women in Dallas and Collin counties.
Chemirmir, who has been charged with being in the U.S. illegally, was already in the Dallas County Jail on charges that he killed an 81-year-old Dallas woman in 2018 and attempted to kill two women in Collin County, according to the Dallas Morning News.
A Kenyan national, Chemirmir is being held on $9.1 million bail and also has an immigration hold.
The youngest of his alleged victims was 75; the oldest was 92.
Police began to focus on Chemirmir last year after two women — one in Plano and one in Frisco — reported attempts on their lives.
Plano Police Chief Gregory Rushin, in discussing the attack that took place in his community, said that Chemirmir allegedly “told the victim, ‘go to bed and don’t fight me.’ She complied and the suspect put a pillow over her face, causing her to lose consciousness, and he then stole her jewelry,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The woman survived the attack and said a jewelry box of hers was taken.
Police then began to tail Chemirmir, who was already a person of interest in the police investigation of a suspicious person at a senior citizen residential complex.
During that surveillance, Chemirmir is alleged to have disposed of a jewelry box belonging to Lu Thi Harris, 81, a Dallas woman who was found dead in her home.
Police said that in the Frisco incident, the 93-year-old woman who was attacked told police she began praying when her attacker tried to smother her with a pillow because she thought she was going to die.
Police said Chemirmir is suspected of pretending to be a maintenance worker to gain access to the assisted living facility where the woman lived, KXAS reported.
At the time of his initial arrest, Rushin said Chemirmir — who also used the alias Benjamin Koitaba — used his health care experience “to his advantage in targeting and exploiting seniors, some of the most vulnerable people in our community.” After his arrest, authorities began to review other suspicious deaths of elderly women in the Dallas area to see if they could be linked to Chemirmir.
Phillip Hayes, the attorney representing Chemirmir on his original charges, said the latest indictments “came out of the blue and I don’t have any information on them yet.”
He said his client “has denied it since Day One” that he played any role in Harris’ death.
“They have circumstantial evidence that puts him in the area but that’s as far as the evidence goes,” Hayes said.
As the charges against Chemirmir move forward, families of some of his alleged victims are suing the assisted living facilities where their relatives resided, claiming the facilities failed to adequately protect the women who were killed.
“This guy should’ve been detected but wasn’t,” said Richard Arnold, an attorney representing the family of Doris Gleason, 92, who was killed Oct. 29, 2016, in Dallas.
“In our case, they had him just wandering around the apartment for three hours.”
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