Authorities in Texas have charged an illegal alien from Kenya with the murders of 12 elderly women across Texas.
Billy Chemirmir, 46, was charged with 11 capital murder counts in addition to the one he was already facing, reported the Dallas Morning News. Chemirmir has been in jail since March 2018 after being charged with killing Lu Thi Harris, 81.
Chemirmir, who used to work as a health care worker, was said to have used a pillow to smother each woman before stealing things from their homes.
Chemirmir allegedly killed five women in Collin County and six women in Dallas County.
The former were not identified but the latter were named as Phyllis Payne, 91; Phoebe Perry, 94; Norma French, 85; Doris Gleason, 92; Rosemary Curtis, 76; and Mary Brooks, 87.
Plano Police Chief Gregory Rushin told reporters last year that the Kenyan national used his “health care experience to his advantage, targeting and exploiting seniors.”
“This is terribly disturbing,” Rushin said.
The man also allegedly tried to smother at least three other women, including a 93-year-old at an assisted living facility in Frisco in October 2017.
81-yr old Lu Thi Harris, one of possibly many other murder /attempted murder victims of 45yr old Billy Chemirmir. Police in multiple cities seeking tips as Chemirmir could be linked to multiple murders, he worked as home health care giver @FOX4 pic.twitter.com/aldb2bzN0P
— Lynnanne Nguyen (@LynnanneFOX4) March 23, 2018
The women said that a well-dressed man claimed to be a maintenance worker but barged into her house and knocked her to the ground before taking a pillow from her couch and holding it over her face as she prayed. She survived.
While some news outlets omitted the key detail, others noted that Chemirmir is living in the United States illegally and that he hails from Kenya. In addition to being held on the capital murder charges, Chemirmir was being held on the charge of being in the country illegally, according to court records obtained by the Associated Press.
There is an immigration hold placed on him, according to jail records obtained by WFAA. That means that if he’s released on bail, found not guilty on all charges, or sentenced to prison and eventually released, he would then be detained by federal immigration authorities and deported.
The charges came after medical examiners in the two counties re-examined hundreds of cases. The re-examinations are ongoing.
Phoebe Perry’s legacy will live on through her service to the SPCA and the thousands of animals she helped find homes — https://t.co/pajAf0H2yV
— Nichole Manna (@NicholeManna) May 17, 2019
Victim’s Friend Remembers
Perry, one of the women allegedly killed by Chemirmir, was a giving person who loved to help homeless animals in Dallas-Fort Worth, her friends said.
She helped the SPCA obtain 30 acres in 1997 to build the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center, which is named after her husband.
“It is almost impossible to give you an estimate on how much she did for animals,” SPCA spokeswoman Maura Davies told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I can attempt to estimate they helped tens of thousands of animals lead better lives. Maybe even hundreds of thousands.”
“That entire location, everything we’ve been able to do is a testament to her life and her husband’s life,” said Davies, who called herself a longtime friend of the older woman.
“I wish I had been able to know her more. She was a gentle soul. She was an exceptionally kind woman. She had a very quiet voice, but she could command the presence of a room full of people. She had tremendous visions for how the SPCA of Texas could help animals.”
According to an obituary for Curtis, another woman allegedly murdered by Chemirmir, “she was loved and respected by so many family and friends for her unwavering kindness, generosity, and enthusiastic passion for others.”
Curtis was married for 49 years until her husband passed away in 2017. She had children and grandchildren and was devoted to her family.
“Rosemary was passionate about so many things, and it was to these passions that she gave her total devotion,” the obituary added, including being a grade school teacher, a volunteer ESL teacher, and a tutor.