An illegal immigrant accused of killing a dozen elderly women in Texas over the course of three years was granted a green card to remain in the United States.
Kenyan national Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir, 46, came to the United States on a tourist visa in July 2003, law enforcement sources told Breitbart News. He overstayed his visa and was not deported. Instead, he obtained a green card in November 2007 by marrying a U.S. citizen.
Chemirmir’s criminal record includes convictions for drunk driving, trespassing, assault, and obstructing a police officer, according to Breitbart. Dallas police believe his murders of elderly women go far beyond 12 victims.
“In Dallas alone, our initial estimate is over 750 elderly females that we’re gonna go back and review those cases,” said Dallas Police Assistant Chief David Pughes in March 2018, via Fox 4.
“It will be a monumental task, but we’re up to the challenge. And we’re gonna make sure that we check each and every case.”
In March 2018, The Dallas Morning News reported that police in Plano, Texas, had been monitoring then 45-year-old Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir of Kenya for an unrelated offense when they saw him throw items in a dumpster,
Police arrested Chemirmir, and discovered that he had thrown out a jewelry box containing jewelry, according to The Dallas Morning News. Police traced the name on the box to an address where 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris was found dead.
Police found other items belonging to Harris in his possession, the news outlet reported.
Police began monitoring Chemirmir one day prior, after a 91-year-old woman told police Chemirmir had forced his way into her home and smothered her with a pillow, Fox 4 reported. She passed out, but survived, and used her medical alert device to get help.
Later, police found a pattern among murders of elderly women in Dallas and Collin counties, and link Chemirmir with 12 murders, The Dallas Morning News reported. He is also accused of attempted murder of two women.
Chemirmir is accused of smothering his victims with pillows, then stealing their jewelry and other items of value.
The cases posed complications in court because of an initial determination that most of the deaths were of natural causes. The victims’ advanced age initially led authorities to assume there had been no foul play.
“Maybe it’s easier to say, ‘this person is over 70 so they had a heart attack,’ but we don’t know that,” said Dee Wadsworth, a retired gerontologist who works with the Gerontological Society of America, via The Dallas Morning News. “If that person has no history of a heart condition, then further investigation is warranted by the medical examiner.”
In some cases, the bodies of victims that were already buried had to be exhumed and examined again. The cause of death on death certificates had to be changed.
Bob Wall, a criminal justice lecturer at the University of North Texas, thinks that Chemirmir chose senior citizens as his victims so as to avoid raising suspicions.
“It doesn’t surprise me because this is such an easy way of disguising a death, and he’s preying on some really vulnerable people,” Wall told The Dallas Morning News.