Ferndale Police Say Suspected Serial Killer Was Seen With Missing Woman

Could Deborah Reynolds be a 6th victim?

WWJ News
June 10, 2019 - 5:38 pm
Deborah Reynolds and Deangelo Martin

Deborah Reynolds, left, and Deangelo Martin (Photos: Detroit Police Department)

FERNDALE (WWJ) - A suspected Detroit serial killer was apparently the last person seen with a missing woman before she disappeared. 

That's according to Ferndale police, who say they are now assisting Detroit police in the case of 34-year-old Deangelo Martin, who is suspected in three killings and two attacks on Detroit's east side. 

Ferndale police contact with Martin dates back to August 3 of last year, when they were called to the east Ferndale 7-11 on a report of "suspicious or disorderly people." 

There police said they found Martin and a female companion, identified as 64-year-old Deborah Reynolds, sitting outside with an open container of alcohol. Each was offered a portable breath test. Martin was above the legal limit, police said, while Reynolds’ test was inconclusive.

Police said Reynolds was seen drinking from the open container and was issued a citation for open intoxicant in public. Martin, however, wasn't seen drinking and was not ticketed. Following the incident, Ferndale officers drove the pair to a location of their choosing, near Woodward Ave. and State Fair in Detroit. 

Police said they encountered Martin again a month later, when he was stopped for jaywalking on Woodward Ave. near Cambourne on September 2, 2018. He walking into the line of moving traffic and causing cars to swerve and brake, police said, and was arrested for giving the police false information about his identity.

Reynolds was not with him that time, and he was released without incident. 

It was not until several weeks later, that Ferndale police learned Reynolds had been reported missing by family. At that time, police said, they looked carefully at their encounters with Martin, particularly the August 3 incident with Reynolds.

Ferndale police said looking at back at materials, including in-car and body cam video, they concluded that officers handled the incidents appropriately. 

In a news releases, police noted the following points:

  • The only crime committed was public alcohol consumption by Reynolds, and a citation was delivered in response. 
  • Martin and Reynolds were familiar and friendly with each other, even seen standing arm in arm on video. Reynolds did not appear coerced or fearful. 
  • By Ferndale Police policy, Martin and Reynolds were driven from the scene in separate vehicles, which allowed Reynolds nearly five minutes alone with a female officer. This provides a safe space to report concerns should one feel unsafe or endangered. During this time, police said, Reynolds said nothing about Martin and acted and spoke in a manner that gave the officer no cause for concern. 

Asked at a Monday news conference about a possible connection between Martin and the missing woman, Detroit Police James Craig said it's "murky."

"That's why I said potentially it could be yet another victim, but we have not confirmed it," he said. "We are still working this case and there are a lot of unanswered issues that are emerging, so we're going to continue to move forward. I'm sure that in the next 48 to 72 hours we'll have more information..."

An earlier release by Detroit police said Reynolds was last seen by her brother in the area of Oakland and Clay in Detroit on August 2, just a day before she was seen with Martin in Ferndale. Her family didn't hear from her after that. 

Martin remains held without bond on charges of first degree criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to murder. 

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Anyone with information about this case should call Detroit Police Homicide at 313-596-2260 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 1-800-SPEAK-UP (1-800-773-2587).