PLANO, Texas - The man charged with the murder of an 81-year-old woman in Dallas is linked to other crimes in Plano and Frisco.
At least four North Texas police departments are reviewing hundreds of deaths that could actually be murders.
March 19, 2018: Plano
According to police documents released Friday, Billy Chemirmir is suspected of trying to kill a 91-year-old woman in at the Preston Place retirement apartments on Monday. It’s not clear why she was targeted.
"Suspect Chemirmir has worked as a healthcare worker and has a history of impersonating maintenance personnel at a retirement community in Dallas,” explained Plano Police Chief Gregory Rushin. “Chemirmir uses healthcare experience to his advantage in targeting and exploiting seniors, some of the most vulnerable people in our community. This is terribly disturbing.”
Chemirmir allegedly forced his way into her apartment and told her to “Go to bed, don’t fight me.” He put a pillow over her face and tried to suffocate her.
Police say but before the victim lost consciousness, she was able to use her medical alert device to call for help. Residents say everyone in the community is provided with such a device. The victim told police her attacker stole her jewelry.
The management of Preston Place has increased security on the property. In a statement, they said, “We are horrified, disgusted, and angry about the recent events involving seniors in the Dallas area but also relieved to learn a suspect has been arrested and charged. Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents and families."
March 20, 2018: Dallas
Plano investigators used surveillance video to identify Chemirmir and they were trailing him when they saw throwing a jewelry box in a dumpster.
The box didn’t belong to the Plano victim. It instead had another woman’s name in. Chemirmir also had a set of keys, jewelry and cash on him.
Officers traced the items to a home in far North Dallas where they found 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris dead. The arrest warrant affidavit says she was found with a pillow nearby and her makeup was smeared.
Neighbors said they had not heard from Harris in days but didn’t think anything was wrong.
“It’s just such a tragedy. She was such a kind person so it’s definitely a loss. We are going to miss her greatly around here,” said Noel Crotty, Harris’ neighbor.
Chemirmir, who is a Nigerian native in the country illegally, is being held on a $1 million bond. He’s charged with both capital murder and attempted capital murder. Records show he also has an immigration hold.
Police fear there could be more victims because for a long time he worked in home health care. He has also posed as a maintenance worker.
October 29, 2017: Frisco
While police were looking into the latest case, Frisco PD realized they had a similar case and now believe the same man is behind their attack.
Chermirmir is suspected in an attempted capital murder case that happened in October at the Parkview Elderly Assisted Living facility in Frisco. A 93-year-old woman said a man posing as a maintenance worker came to her door and asked if she needed any work done, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The police document states after the woman declined the man’s help, he forced his way into her apartment and shoved her off her walker onto the floor. The affidavit says she told police she “began praying believing she was about to die.”
“At the time of the offense, she had been able to tell us that she was attacked by a black male but could not give us enough information to, at that time, to find who that was,” said Frisco Police Chief John Bruce.
Police say Chemirmir put a pillow over the 93-year-old woman’s face to suffocate her and then stole her jewelry. DNA evidence was recovered in that case and will be compared to Chemirmir’s DNA.
Suspect’s Criminal History
Chemirmir's arrest record dates back to 2011. He has a history of DWI, family violence, and he was just in March given a criminal trespass warning outside a Dallas elderly care facility.
Chemirmir is currently charged with three horrific crimes and is a suspect in six to eight murders. With the help of Collin and Dallas County medical examiners, police from four cities will review unattended or natural deaths involving elderly women going back to at least 2010.
"In Dallas alone, our initial estimate is over 750 elderly females that we're gonna go back and review those cases,” said Dallas Police Asst. Chief David Pughes. “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."
“We don’t really know how many cases he may be suspect in,” Chief Rushin said.
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.