The FBI has been called in to a small town about an hour south of Columbus, Ohio to investigate a string of disappearances and murders that have taken place over the last 13 months.
Six women have vanished since May 2014 in Chillicothe, and four of those women have been found dead, authorities said. The women who disappeared were mostly in their 20’s and 30’s and were mothers. One victim was a grandmother with her third grandchild on the way.
Lt. Mike Preston of the Ross County Sheriff’s Office would not say that he believes that this is the work of a sole serial killer, but that is the theory supported by many of the women’s relatives.
“I felt that after the first three women went missing a year ago, it had to be someone they all know and trust to even go with them, and it has to be more than one person. My daughter was not a small person,” Angela Robinson, mother of Tameka Lynch, the 30-year-old mother of three, whose naked body was found in a river by a kayaker on May 24, 2014.
Four days before investigators found Lynch’s body, her husband reported her missing. He told police he had not seen her since May 16.
Lynch was the first of the “Chillicothe missing women.” Two days after Lynch was reported missing, 38-year-old Charlotte Trego was also reported missing. Her body was never found.
Next, 37-year-old mother of five, Wanda Lemons was reported missing on December 28th and around the same time, so was pregnant 20-year-old Shasta Himelrick. Himelrick’s body was found in the Scioto River on January 2, 2015, Lemon’s body has yet to be found.
It wasn’t until 26-year-old mother of two, Tiffany Sayre was reported missing on May 11, 2015, that the speculation that these killings could be the work of a serial killer started to spread. Sayre’s body was found in an area not far from the location of Lynch’s body on June 20.
Officials have said the women are connected through a common history of drug use, possible prostitution and connections to the same social circle.
Family and friends of these women have discussed the victims’ struggles with drug abuse and possible prostitution to support their drug habits, and accuse law officials of not putting forth effort to solve the cases because of their lifestyles.
Police have ramped up their investigation and are extended their search to neighboring states interviewing subjects and administering polygraph tests.
“One of the things that people have said is we treat these people differently because of their lifestyle,” said Chillicothe Police Chief Keith Washburn. “That is totally untrue. These ladies are someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, sister, aunt. These are human beings. We are going to give it 110% to try and find them.”
• Wanda Lemons, 37, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 135 pounds with shoulder-length brown hair and blue eyes. She has a tattoo of dolphins making a heart on her lower back. Missing since Dec. 28.
• Charlotte Trego, 38, 5 foot 4 inches tall and 160 pounds with dark hair and blue eyes. She has a tattoos of “JAMES” on her chest and a Playboy bunny on her upper arm. Missing since May 3, 2014.
Contact Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers to anonymously report any information/tips about the missing women and/or murders.
Source: USA Today