Plano police have been working around the clock answering the tip line set up about a serial murder suspect who they say was targeting elderly women.
Police say Billy Chemirmir killed 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris and tried to kill two others for their jewelry. They fear he could have multiple other victims. He is now in custody on a $1 million bond.
There is concern about other as yet unknown victims. That's why Dallas police are reviewing more than 750 deaths going back to the 2010-2011 time frame.
Plano police began their review with a handful of elderly women who lived alone and died at a senior citizens apartment community within the last year. But one forensic pathologist said determining a specific cause of death, like suffocation, from a person who died many years ago is nearly impossible.
Frisco and Plano police say two women over 90 were also attacked by Chemirmir but survived. Police in four departments looking at hundreds of elderly deaths to see if there is a Chemirmir connection.
"We want to make sure that these potential victims — because there were suspicious circumstances surrounding them — we want to make sure we have everything on that and do a complete investigation on these as well as any other in that complex or anywhere else in our city,” said Plano Police Officer David Tilley.
If it’s worth exhuming a person and they were embalmed or even if they weren't embalmed, preservation of the body is always a question,” said American Forensics Dr. Amy Gruszecki. "They are very difficult to diagnose when a person is dead 24 hours, much less after they've been dead and embalmed and buried for a period of time. The decomposition process can certainly hinder that analysis.”
Police have been answering tip line calls around the clock rather than letting folks leave a recorded message.
Chemirmir has not been cooperating with police, but they are checking area pawn shops to see if there is any trail tying Chemirmir to victims and their jewelry.
Police have also set up a hotline for families to call if they suspect a loved one may have been a victim. Anyone with information about him can call 972-941-5785.