FAIRFAX, Va. (WRIC) — He contacted his victims through dating apps, convinced them to meet him at motels, then killed them and transported their bodies to isolated areas in shopping carts.
Fairfax and Harrisonburg County police chiefs spoke at a news conference on Friday, revealing what they know so far about the so-called “shopping cart killer,” who they say is linked to at least four deaths in Northern Virginia.
Fairfax Police Chief Kevin Davis said the multi-jurisdictional task force investigating the crimes believed the deaths were the work of a serial killer.
“It’s a phrase I’ve used sparingly in my three decades in this profession,” Davis said.
Anthony Robinson, 35, of Washington, DC, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of concealing, transporting or altering a corpse, according to ABC affiliate WHSV . The police suspect him of being the “Caddy Killer”.
Authorities said two victims have been positively identified and one has been tentatively identified by family members. A fourth victim remains unidentified. However, the police believe there are more victims.
Harrisonburg Police Chief Kelley Warner said Robinson was arrested following video surveillance and cellphone recordings placing him near the location in Harrisonburg where two of the victims, Allene Elizabeth Redmon , 54, of Harrisonburg, and Tonita Lorice Smith, 39, of Charlottesville, were found.
ABC affiliate WHSV reported in November that the bodies of two women were discovered in a vacant lot in Harrisonburg. On Friday, Warner confirmed that the Harrisonburg Police Department identified these two female victims on November 23, their bodies found in an open area in a commercial district of the city of Harrisonburg.
It was then, Warner said, that they made the connection to an earlier disappearance in Washington, D.C.
“Then we started this coordinated effort to find more victims, unfortunately, who died at the hands of this shopping cart killer,” Warner said.
The victim discovered earlier this week in Fairfax is believed to be 29-year-old Cheyenne Brown of Washington, DC, who disappeared on September 30 of this year.
Fairfax police searched for Brown earlier this month, based on information that included tapes showing Brown riding the DC subway at a station in Alexandria, Va., as well as digital records locating her near the Moon Inn.
At the time, despite searching the area with cadaver dogs, Fairfax police arrived empty-handed. But when they returned on Wednesday, they discovered an abandoned shopping cart in a wooded area – and inside, after further investigation, the remains of two people.
Although the remains have yet to be confirmed as those of Cheyenne Brown, Davis said family members identified a tattoo as belonging to him. The identity of the other victim is still unknown.
Major Ed O’Carroll, commander of the Major Crimes and Cybercrime and Forensics Bureau, said they were working on digital recordings obtained after Robinson’s arrest.
“Detectives are hoping that further review of these records we have and more to come will provide more information about the identity of the second victim,” O’Carroll said.
Robinson is currently being held in Rockingham County.
“The good thing is he’s in custody,” Davis said. “The remaining challenge is to identify other victims.”
On Friday, Robinson is believed to be linked to the deaths of four victims. But authorities said he was transient and known to have traveled as far north as New York. Police said they are in contact with law enforcement in and around Virginia to determine where Robinson may have traveled and harmed others.
“We believe there may be additional casualties in the area and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, and we must act now,” Davis said. “He’s behind bars right now, but that doesn’t take away from the urgency that exists to identify other victims who could be out there, literally, beyond the Commonwealth of Virginia and on the East Coast. .”
WRIC-TV contacted the Virginia State Police (VSP), as well as the Chesterfield County Police Department, the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the Henrico County Police Department, and the Department of Richmond City Police. The latter local law enforcement agencies said that at this time they were not aware of any local incidents that could be linked to Robinson. A VSP spokesperson said the agency had “no comment at this time.”
O’Carroll also noted that while Robinson is the focus of this investigation, which is still believed to be in its early stages, authorities have not ruled out the possibility of multiple suspects.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call (703) 246-7800, and tips can also be submitted anonymously at 1-866-411-TIPS.
You can watch the full press conference below: