Detroit police identify person of interest in potential serial killer case

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 07, 2019

DETROIT — Detroit Police have identified a person of interest in the case of a potential serial killer and rapist they say is targeting sex workers on the city's east side.

The person of interest is 34-year-old Kenneth DeAngelo Martin, a black male, about 5-feet-9, 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He's known to be homeless and known to frequent the east side of Detroit.

The police's announcement comes just days after Chief James Craig announced police believe a single suspect has been involved in three separate cases.

According to Craig, police officials think suspect could be targeting women in the early 50s and luring them to vacant dwellings. Craig also said police believe the suspect is targeting sex workers. Police are now working in pairs clearing vacant homes on the city's east side. After that, the city's board-up team will work to board up the 1,000 vacant homes.

Craig said police have been working the case for months. On March 19, the body of 52-year-old Nancy Harrison was found in an abandoned home totally disrobed. Police say when she was first located, the cause of her death was originally thought to be a drug overdose. However, after further investigation, it was discovered that she suffered blunt force trauma. No further details have been released on her death.

RELATED: Family of suspected serial killer's first known victim upset with how they say investigation handled

The body of the second victim, Travesene Ellis, was found on May 24 on the city's east side. No further details have been released on her death. She was reported missing on May 15. She was last seen on April 21, near where her body was later discovered.

Wednesday morning, a third woman's decomposed and naked body was found inside a vacant home.

The chief said it wasn't until the murder Wednesday morning that they believe they have the "makings of a serial killer and rapist that's operating on the east side of Detroit."

He believes the suspect is targeting women in their early 50s and luring them to vacant dwellings.

RELATED: Brother of murdered woman in Detroit says possible serial killer is 'a coward'

Although Craig said all three victims are believed to be sex worker, the family of Harrison say she was not.

Craig also clarified that several weeks ago, there were rumors circulating through social media that there was a serial killer dumping bodies in dumpsters. He said that was incorrect and there was no connection whatsoever.

Police are asking sex workers to come forward with any information.

"We're not here to arrest you, we're going to make sure you're safe," he said.