Suspected Detroit Serial Killer Charged In 4 Murders

WWJ News
September 18, 2019 - 2:56 pm
Deangelo Martin

Deangelo Martin (Booking photo)


DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A 34-year-old man has been charged with murder in the slayings of four women whose bodies were found stashed in vacant houses in Detroit.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that Deangelo Martin is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of felony murder. 

"I think it's pretty clear that we believe he is a serial killer," said Worthy.

The slayings occurred between March and June and the victims were all in their 40s and 50s.

"The commonalities is three of the four were found in the same area of the city; one was found on the west side," said Worthy. "But the other two commonalities... was the positioning of the bodies and also the used condom that was found near all of the bodies."

The first victim is 57-year-old Anetta Nelson, discovered February 26, 2018. A man found her dead inside of a vacant home in the 11620 block of Winthrop, carried her body outside and flagged down the police, who found a condom inside the home. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma. 

The second victim is 52-year-old Nancy Harrison. She was found March 19, 2019 in an abandoned house in the 20070 block of Coventry by a man who went inside to smoke marijuana. She was positioned face down and a used condom was found near her body. Her death was determined to be a homicide caused by blunt force trauma.

The third victim is 55-year-old Travesene Ellis, found on March 24, 2019 at a vacant home in the 13700 block of Linnhurst. She was also positioned face down and a used condom was found near her body. A medical examiner was unable to determine a cause and manner of death because her body was in such an advanced stage of decomposition.

The fourth victim is 55-year-old Tamara Jones. She was discovered June 5, 2019 in the 3690 block of Mack Avenue with her body lying face down and a used condom nearby. Her body was too decomposed to determine a manner and cause of death. 

Investigators believe Martin, a homeless Detroit resident, could be connected to more murders. 

"We're looking at two additional cases where there might be some connection, I want to emphasize might, and they're still under investigation at this time," said Worthy. "So this may or may not be over."

Martin was previously ordered to stand trial in the stabbing and sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman who escaped in May, and is also charged in the kidnapping and assault of a 51-year-old woman in June.

Martin was arraigned before 36th District Court Magistrate Laura Echartea Wednesday afternoon and remanded into custody.

He will be back in court for a Probable Cause Conference on all four cases on Oct. 2, followed by a Preliminary Examination set for Oct. 9.