A suspected serial killer in Texas, who is charged with murdering 12 elderly women, was in the country illegally, according to published reports.
Billy Chemirmir, 45, was charged with capital murder in the death of Dallas resident Lu "Kim" Harris, 81.
Chemirmir was first suspected in March after he attempted to smother a 91-year-old woman in her North Dallas home. Police had Chemirmir under surveillance in that case when they observed him toss a woman's jewelry box in a dumpster in Far North Dallas. He was taken into custody on outstanding warrants.
A name on the box led police to Harris's home in North Dallas. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Evidence at the scene indicated (Harris) may have been suffocated with a pillow," Plano Chief of police Gregory Rushin said at a news conference Friday.
Chemirmir was also charged in the suffocation deaths of Norma French, Phoebe Perry, Phyllis Payne, Rosemary Curtis, Mary Brooks, Minnie Campbell, Carolyn MacPhee, Martha Williams, Miriam Nelson, Ann Conklin, and Doris Gleason, KXAS-TV reports.
The victims were all in their 80s or 90s and were killed between May 2016 and March 2018. Chemirmir is accused of smothering them with pillows and stealing their jewelry and other valuables.
Police say he gained access to their homes by posing as a maintenance man in a retirement community. The suspect previously worked as a healthcare worker and has a history of impersonating maintenance personnel in Dallas, according to police.
Dallas police are reviewing over 800 cases of elderly victims who died while unattended to determine if any of them were killed by Chemirmir.
Chemirmir also faces immigration charges for being in the country illegally. He is being held on $9 million bail.