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25 April 2024

Man charged in killings of 4 women in Detroit


A prosecutor announced murder charges against a 34-year-old man in the slayings of four women whose deaths Detroit police have characterized as the work of a serial killer.

Deangelo Martin is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of felony murder in the killings of the women whose bodies were found in abandoned houses in the city as far back as February 2018, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said at a news conference.

Martin is expected to be arraigned on these charges Wednesday afternoon, Worthy said.

Martin, who was arrested in June, was already charged in the stabbing and assault of 26-year-old woman in May and the kidnapping and assault of a 51-year-old woman in June.

Police Chief James Craig has said he sees similarities between three of the slayings and the assaults of at least two other women who survived attacks. The slain women were all in their 40s and 50s.

Worthy named the victims as Annetta Nelson, 57, whose body was found Feb. 26, 2018; Nancy Harrison, 52, who was discovered March 19, 2019; Trevesene Ellis, 55, was found March 24; and Tamara Jones, 55, who was found June 5.

All the victims were found face down, she said. A coroner determined that Nelson and Harrison died of blunt force trauma but the cause of death for the other two couldn't be determined because their bodies were too badly decomposed, Worthy said.

Police are investigating two additional possible homicide cases that might also be connected, she said.

Police have said they believe all the women were adult workers.

"We worked tirelessly to ensure that we bring them some modicum of justice, of respect and of dignity, no matter what they're engaged in before, during and after they were reported missing," Worthy said.

Martin was initially arrested in June in the assault and attempted murder of a woman who was able to escape the attack.

At that point, police had already uncovered three homicide victims, and teams of police officers and other city workers were searching hundreds of vacant buildings for more bodies.