Detroit police investigating possible serial killer, rapist targeting sex workers

Image: James Craig
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said his department is investigating a possible serial killer and rapist after three sex workers were found dead on the city's east side. Copyright Mike Householder AP file
Copyright Mike Householder AP file
By Janelle Griffith with NBC News U.S. News
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"We want to alert all sex workers — particularly those who work inside vacant houses — to beware," Chief James Craig said.

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Detroit police are investigating a potential serial killer and rapist targeting sex workers on the city's east side, after the decomposed body of a third woman was found Wednesday in a vacant house.

Chief James Craig told reporters Wednesday that the homicides all occurred inside "vacant dwellings" and that all three victims were "partially clad" prostitutes whose bodies were found in various stages of decomposition.

"We believe this is a serial murderer and rapist, and we want to alert all sex workers — particularly those who work inside vacant houses — to beware," Craig said.

Two of the three women were in their early 50s. One died of blunt force trauma, while the cause of the other deaths remains under investigation, Craig said.

The first victim was found March 19. Craig said the department initially believed the victim died as the result of a drug overdose, but on May 20 the medical examiner ruled the cause of death as blunt force trauma. Days later, on May 24, another victim was found.

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