FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — As police in Virginia work to determine if the man dubbed the “Shopping Cart Killer” has murdered more than his four suspected victims, the daughter of one of the slain women is praying that isn’t the case.
Amanda May’s mother, Allene Elizabeth “Beth” Redmon, was found dead last month in a Fairfax County field. May told ABC 13 in Lynchburg over the weekend that the horror of Redmon’s homicide is compounded by the fact that the 54-year-old grandmother is not the alleged serial killer’s only victim.
“The more I learn about it and the more we find out, the worse it is,” May told the news station. “It’s like this guy is out here and he thinks this is fun, and this is a game, and he’s just out here taking people’s lives because he wants to.”
Anthony Eugene Robinson, 35, of Washington, is accused of killing Redmon; Tonita Lorice “Nita” Smith, 39, of Charlottesville; Cheyenne Brown, 29, of Washington; and a fourth woman who has not yet been identified.
All four women died of blunt force trauma.
Watch authorities speak about the case below.
Brown, who has a young son, was about four months pregnant when she disappeared, according to NBC Washington. Her family has tentatively identified her body through a distinct tattoo she had — her name and a lily on her right arm, The Washington Post reported.
DNA will be used to confirm the identification.
WTOP in Washington reported Sunday that Fairfax County detectives believe a missing California woman may be the fourth woman slain. Investigators are flying to Redding to collect DNA samples from family members of Stephanie Harrison.
Harrison, 48, last spoke to her family Aug. 19 from the U.S. Capitol, which she visited while sightseeing. Bank records obtained by her sister showed she checked into the Moon Inn in Alexandria, where Robinson was staying in the time frame of the murders.
Police allege that Robinson met all four women on dating sites. His moniker comes from the allegations that he used a shopping cart to transport the victims’ bodies after killing them.
“We have video to that effect,” Fairfax County police Chief Kevin Davis said Friday at a news conference
A red Target shopping cart was found near the container in which the remains of Brown and the unidentified woman were found, authorities said.
May said she hopes her mother and the three other known victims are the only women Robinson has killed.
“I hope that there are no more bodies that need to be found,” she said.
Police fear additional victims are out there. Authorities said Friday that Robinson, who was arrested in Rockingham County, has lived in multiple locales over the past several years, including New York and Maryland.
“The good thing is he’s in custody. The challenge that remains is identifying other victims,” Davis said.
“That’s what worries us,” the chief said. “He didn’t suddenly turn into who he is three months ago.”
Authorities are scouring Robinson’s background in an effort to identify any additional victims. Robinson had no prior criminal record, according to police.
‘He does unspeakable things’
Redmon, who was last seen alive on or around Oct. 24, was reported missing to Harrisonburg police in early November. May, who lived with her mother in Harrisburg, said it had been weeks since she’d heard from her mother.
No calls, no texts. No sign of Redmon on social media.
Then came the Nov. 23 phone call.
“It was the detective telling me they had found her body behind Howard Johnson,” May said.
Redmon’s body, along with that of Smith, had been found in an open field behind a nearby motel, Harrisonburg police Chief Kelley Warner said Friday. The women, who were found within a short distance of one another, died at different times.
Surveillance footage and cellphone records connected Robinson to both victims, Warner said.
Smith, a mother of six young children, was reported missing Nov. 19, just days before the bodies were found. She had last been seen alive a few days earlier in Charlottesville, according to police there.
Brown was reported missing to D.C. police on Oct. 12. According to authorities, she was last seen alive Sept. 30 in the 200 block of 36th Street SE.
The alleged killer was the last person known to see her alive, Fairfax County police officials said. Surveillance footage shows Brown and Robinson together at a Metro stop in the capital.
Brown took the Metro to the Huntington station in Fairfax County, not far from the Moon Inn.
Cellphone data puts Brown near the hotel. Robinson was staying at the Moon Inn during the time frame of the murders.
Fairfax County investigators, who were assisting D.C. missing persons detectives in the search for Brown, looked for her at the Moon Inn earlier this month with no luck. After receiving additional information Wednesday, they returned to the hotel and expanded their search.
Officers spotted a shopping cart in a nearby wood line and began searching the woods. Near the cart was the container holding the bodies of Brown and another woman.
Brown’s mother, Nicandra Brown, described the tragedy as “excruciating” in an interview with the Post.
“My heart is broken,” she said. “Just the thought of my baby not being here is devastating. It’s like a bad dream I just want to wake up from.”
The family believes Cheyenne Brown had contact with Robinson in the weeks before she disappeared. A cousin who confronted a man staying at the family’s home with Brown in September recognized a photo of Robinson after his arrest.
“I said, ‘He was just in our house,’” Jonathan Willis told the newspaper. “I remembered his face.”
Nicadra Brown immediately notified police.
It was while authorities were searching for Brown that they spotted missing persons posters with Harrison’s face on them.
“When we found the body, we also found these random fliers on Route 1,” Fairfax County police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told WTOP.
According to the fliers, Harrison has schizophrenia and was off her medication before she vanished.
“She is very vulnerable and gullible in her mental state,” the fliers stated.
Davis said he has used the term “serial killer” sparingly in his career, during which he has worked at several law enforcement agencies.
“I can count on one hand, with a couple fingers left over, the number of times where law enforcement has had to grapple with the impact of a serial killer,” he said.
He called Robinson a predator.
“He preys on the weak. He preys on the vulnerable. And he does unspeakable things with his victims,” the chief said.
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