A Detroit man facing charges for an alleged brutal attack of a young woman last month could be the serial killer suspected in the deaths of three women, two of whom are Black, police said. The family of one of the women is now speaking out in the midst of the tragedy.
Deangelo Martin was arraigned Monday for the stabbing and rape of a 26-year-old woman who was lucky enough to escape. Police said she was one of two women survivors of malicious attacks by Martin to come forward, prompting officials to suspect Martin was the serial killer tied to the deaths of Nancy Harrison, Trevesene Ellis and Tamara Jones, whose bodies were found in abandoned buildings. Authorities also believe that Martin is involved in the August 2018 disappearance of 64-year-old Deborah Reynolds. Jones, 55, is the latest victim to be identified. She was a mother of two who struggled with mental illness and turned to panhandling after falling on hard times.
“She was not a violent person,” Jones’ niece Tina Taylor said. “She was a person of laughter. She loved to laugh. She was very creative, very talented. She shared a lot of love, warmhearted.”
According to Fox 2, Jones, whose body was found just last week, was last seen on Memorial Day weekend as she spent some time with her daughter. Taylor said the family knew something was wrong after they had not heard from her for several days.
“I’m sorry for what he did to my aunt and the other women and only God knows how many more that’s going to come to the light,” Taylor said.
According to reports, police believed all three women we targeted because they were sex workers, but both Jones and Harrison’s families dispute the claim that they were involved in prostitution.
Prior to Martin’s detainment, volunteers canvassed Detroit’s East side where Harrison, Ellis and Jones’ bodies were found to help find clues as to distribute information regarding the case. With the abundance of abandoned buildings in the city, community members worried about how easy a serial killer could find access to places where they could kill and dump bodies.
“The fact that it took this, for everybody to decide to listen, is what the problem is,” Brenda Hill of Women’s Delegation for Peace and Change told Fox 2 last week.
CNN reported that Detroit police has made a lot of headway in clearing abandoned houses and alerting officials to have them boarded up. They expect to have 1,000 houses boarded by the end of July in hopes of preventing this tragedy from happening again.