A home care aide who is accused smothering 12 elderly women to death may have killed hundreds more, authorities said.
Billy Chemirmir , 46, was charged with murdering Lu Harris, 81, in her apartment in Dallas, Texas in March, but was recently charged with killing 11 other women.
All of the women were killed by being smothered by a pillow, WFAA reported.
After Chemirmir was charged with killing Harris, health care workers began investigating hundreds of elderly patient deaths, which led to the 11 new accusations against him.
He is now believed to have killed Phyllis Payne, 91, on May 14, 2016; Phoebe Perry, 94, on June 5, 2016; Norma French, 85, on October 8, 2016; Doris Gleason, 92, on October 29, 2016; Rosemary Curtis, 76, on January 17, 2018; and Mary Brooks on January 31, 2018.
Chemirmir was indicted on six capital murder charges this week in Dallas County and is awaiting court appearances for the five other slayings, which occurred in Collin County, police say.
Authorities say Chemirmir is being held in a Dallas County jail and his bail is set at over $9 million.
There is also an immigration hold on him, records show. Chemirmir is a Kenyan citizen.
Police in Texas have said that they are reviewing over 750 elderly deaths in the area.
Dallas Police Department Executive Assistant Chief David Pughes said: ‘It will be a monumental task, but we’re up for the challenge and we’re going to make sure we check each and every case.’
Authorities linked Chemirmir to Harris’ death after he was seen throwing a jewelry box in a dumpster that belonged to Harris. Afterwards, they entered her apartment and found her dead, with lipstick on her face and on a nearby pillow.
A woman reportedly survived an attack believed to be by Chemirmir in Frisco, Texas. She told police that a man ‘forcibly entered her assisted living apartment, knocked her from her walker and to the ground, then placed a pillow over her nose and mouth in an attempt to muffle her screams and smother her,’ according to the affidavit.
She started praying, ‘believing she was about to die,’ but the suspect left, taking her jewelry box.
Another woman, who was 91-years-old, was resuscitated after an eerily similar attack in Plano, Texas.
She told police that the suspect ‘forced his way into the victim’s apartment, told her to “go to the bed, don’t fight me,’” as he pulled a pillow over her face.
A friend later found her and called authorities who resuscitated her.